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HE  Reformation 

IN  France 

Richard  Heath. 




BR    370    .H4    1886 

Heath,  Richard 

The  reforn,ation  in  France 

(From  an  old  print  in  the  British  Museum. 

C^^  Cburclj  Prstotn  Scries 

II  /#S«*^»^ 

Jill  2  1  1^2?' 

THE  REFORMATION  "%owi^ai>'^ 


from  ibo  Jlatmi  of  Jlcform  io  i\n  Ecbocation 



of  tbc  (Kbict  iDf  STantes 



iliitJtoi'    of   '  Ilistoric    Landmarlis,^    etc. 



56,  Paternoster  Row;  G5,  St.  Paul's  Churchyard 
AND  164,  Piccadilly 


Butler  &  Tanner. 
Tlie  SeUvooi  Printinjj  Works, 
Frome,  and  London, 



The  Movement  for  Refoem  until  the  Edict  of  Nantes. 


I.  Prelude 

IT.  Day-break 

III.  Calvin  and  Geneva 

IV.  Light  and  Joy  flood  France  . 
V.  Tlie  Five  Scholars  of  Lausanne     . 

VI.  The  Martyrs  and  the  Psalter 

VII.  New  Shepherds  and  a  New  Fold   . 

VIII.  The  Calvinistic  Constitution  at  Work 

IX.  Eeform  and  '  the  Gentlemen  of  France  ' 

X.  Science  and  Art  among  the  early  Huguenots 

XI.  Catherine  de  Medici 

XII.  The  Conference  at  Poissy 

XIII.  Terrible  Position  of  the  Huguenots 

XIV.  Killing  or  being  Killed  . 
XV.  Demoralization 

XVI.  Charles  IX.  and  Cohgny 

XVII.  The  Murder  of  Coligny 

XVIII.  The  Massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew 

XIX.  After  St.  Bartholomew 

XX.  New  Dangers 

XXI.  The  Edict  of  Nantes      . 





From  the  Edict  of  Nantes  to  its  Revocation. 

I.  Prosperous  but  Declining       .         .         .         *         . 

II.  Facilis  descensus  Averni 

III.  The  Counter-Reformation  in  France 

IV.  In  their  Misery  the  People  Worship  the  Devil 





V.    A  Last  Effort  at  Reconciliation     . 
VI.     Persecution  Ivccomracuces     .... 
VII.     Goin^'  down  to  E<i;ypt  for  Help 
VI 1 1.     Jesuit  Con})  (VKtat  at  Beam  ... 

IX.     The  Huguenot  Commonwealth  at  La  iiochello 
X.     Huguenot  Learning  and  Methods  of  Education 
half  of  the  Seventeenth  Century) 
XI.     Louis  XIII,  and  Ilichelieu     . 
XIL     The  Siege  of  La  Rochelle 
Xlill.     The  End  of  Political  Protestantism 
XIV.     Passing  under  the   '  Caudine  Forks  ' 
XV.     The  Huguenot   Pulpit  and  Protestant  Art 

the  Seventeenth  Century)  . 
XVI.     The  Protestant  Churches  of  France  no  long^ 

a  National  Character 
XVH.    Further  Inroads  on  Huguenot  Liberty 
XVHI.     The  Huguenots  and  the  King 
XIX.     Public  Opinion  and  the  Huguenots 
XX.     The  Conversion  and  Jubilee  of  the  Kin^ 

a  New  Series  of  Persecutions 
XXI.     The  Booted  Mission       . 
XXII.     Some  Huguenots  Attempt  to  Appeal  to  the 

of  France  .... 

XXHI.     The  Second  Dragonnades 
XXIV.     The  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes 


middle  ol 

er  allowed 












Birth  of  William  Fare!  .  .  1481) 
First  Publication  of  the  Bible 

in  French 1498 

Birth   of   John  Calvin     .     .     1500 
Lefevre  announces  the  Doc- 
trine of    Justification    by 

Faith 1512 

Luther  at  the  Diet  of  Worms     1521 
The  Doctrines  of  the  Refor- 
mation preached  at  Meaux    1521 
Francis   Lambert,   a  Priest, 

married 1523 


and  of  Pavayes  at  Paris     .     1 52 1 
Farel  preaches  the  Reforma- 
tion in  France  and  Switzer- 
land       1522-24 

Sack  of  Rome 1527 

Martyrdom  of  Louis  de  Bcr- 

guin 1529 

Peace  of  Cambray  ....  1529 
Death  of  Zwingli  ....  1531 
Immense  Interest  in  Reform 

ill  France 1533 

The  Placard  against  the  Mass     1534 
Great  Persecution  ....     1535 
Publication    of    the    Insti- 
tution   of  the    Christian 

Religion 1535 

Calvin  at  Geneva  ....  1536 
Loyola    founds    the    Jesuit 

Society 1540 

Council  of  Trent  ....  1543 
Death  of  Martia  Luther  .  .  15 16 
Accession  of  Henry  II.  .  .  1517 
Martyrdom  of  Five  Students 

at  Lyons 1553 

Peace  of  Augsburg  ....  1555 
Accession  of  Philip  II.,  King 

of  Spain 1555 

Elizabeth,  Queen  of  England    1558 
Accession  of  Francis  II.  .     .     1559 
Reformed   Chui'ches  organ- 
ized in  Paris  and  in  Nimes    1559 

Martyrdom  of  Anne  Dubourg  1559 

First  National  Synod  at  Paris  1559 

Conspiracy  of  Amboise     .     .  1560 

Accession  of  Charles  IX.      .  1560 

States- General  called  .     .     .  15'i0 

National  Synod  at  Poitiers    .  1561 

Conference  at  Poissy   .     .     .  1561 

Seizui-e  of  Churches  at  Nimes  1561 

Decree  of  Pacification,  Jan.  12  1562 

Iconoclasm  at  Paris     .     .     .  1562 

Massacre  at  Vassy  .    Mar.  1  1562 

National  Synod  at  Orleans  .  1562 
The  Calvinist  Lords  take  up 

Arms  ....  April  11  1562 
First  War  of  Religion  .  1562-63 
Persecutions,     Martyrdoms, 

Massacres 1562-63 

Guise  assassinated  .  Feb.  18  1562 

Treaty  of  Amboise  .  Mar.  19  1563 
National    Synod   at  Lyons, 

presided  over  by  Viret  .  .  1563 
Second  Civil  War  .  .  1564-1567 
Interview  between  Catherine 

de  Medici  and  Alva .     .     .  1565 

Alva  in  the  Netherlands  .     .  1567 

National  Synod  at  Paris  .     .  1567 
The    Michelade    at    Nimes 

Sept.  29  1567 
Battle  of  St.  Denis  .  Nov.  10  1567 
Conquest    of  Religious   Li- 
berty     1568-1570 

Third  Civil  War     ....  1568 

Battle  of  Jarnac  .  March  13  1569 

Battle  of  Moncontour,  Oct.  3  1569 
Coligny   signs   Peace   at  St. 

Germain-en -laye   .  Aug.  8  1570 
National   Synod  at  La  Ro- 
chelle,  presided    over    by 

Beza 1571 

Coligny  and  Charles  IX.     .  1572 
Marriage  of  Henry  of  Navarre 
and  Margaret    of    Valois 

Aug.  18  1572 

Murder  of  Coligny  .  Aug.  24  1572 


Massacre  of    St.   Bartliolo- 

raew  .  .  .  Aug.  21-27  1572 
Massacres  in  tbc  I'l-oviuccs 

Sept.    1572 
Death  of  Charles  IX.  IMay  30    1574 
Death  of  Cardiual  of  Lor- 
raine   Dec.     1574 

The  Leagvie  or  Holy  Union 

foumled 1570 

Fourth  Civil  War  and  Peace 

of  Bergerac 1577 

Assassination  of  William  of 

Orange 1.jS4 

^lary  Stuart  beheaded     .     .     1587 
Henri  de  Guise  assassinated 

Dec.  23  1587 
The  Spanish  Armada  .  .  .  1588 
Calvinist  Political  Assembly 

at  La  Eochello    ....     1588 
Death  of  Catherine  de  Me- 
dici         Jan.  4    1589 

Henry      III.       assassinated 

Aug.  10  1589 
^rhe  Battle  of  Ivry  Mar.  14  1590 
Abjuration    of    Ilcury    IV". 

July  25  1593 
Five     Protestant     Political 

Assemblies  during  .  .  1595-97 
The  Edict  of  Nant.^s  April  1598 
Conference  at  Fontaincblcau 

on  the  Eucharist  .  .  .  IGOO 
National  Synod  at  Gap  .  .  1603 
Death  of  (^)ueen  Elizabeth  .  1G03 
National  Synod  at  La  Ro- 

chello 1G07 

Assassination  of  Henry  IV.     IGIO 
Political    Assembly    of   the 

Huguenots IGU 

National  Synod  of  Privas    .     1G13 

States-General 1G14 

Beginning    of    the     Thirty 

Years'  War  .....  IGIS 
Jesuit  Coup  cVEiat  in  Boarn  1G20 
Political    Assembly    at    La 

liochellc 1G20 

Invasion  of  ihe  Palatinate    .     1G20 
Landing     of     the      Pilgrim 

Fathers  in  New  England  .  1G20 
Siege  of  Monlaubaii  .  ,  .  1G21 
Peace  of  Mont])cllier  .     .     .     1G22 

Death  of  Duplossis-Mornay  1623 

National  Synod  of  Cbarcnton  1G23 

Charles  I.  King  of  England  1625 

National  Synod  of  Castres   .  1626 
Siege  of  La  llochelle  .     .    1627-28 

SackofPrivas 1627 

Fall  of  Montauban      .     .     .  1629 
Gustavus  AdolphiTs  head  of 

the  Protestant  League      .  1630 
National   Synod  at  Cbarcn- 
ton      1631 

National  Synod  at  AlenQon .  1637 
Death  of  Janscn,  Bishop  of 

Ypres 1638 

National  Synod  at  Charen- 

tou 1645 

Peace  of  Westphalia  .     .     .  1648 

Commonwealth  in  England  1G49 
Time   of    Rest   for    French 

Calvinistic  Churches     .     .  1652 
Last    National     Synod    at 

Loudon 1659 

Death  of  Cardinal  Mazarin  .  1661 
Louis  XIV.  Rules  as  well  as 

Reigns 1661 

Charles  11.  sells  Dunlvirk     .  1663 
Louis  takes  Francho  Comtc 

and  some  part  of  Flanders  1667 

Abjuration  of  Turenno     .     .  1669 
Bussuet's      Expotiition      of 

Catholic  Docti'iue     .     .     .  1671 

Colmar  taken  by  Louis  XIV.  1673 
So    called    Conversion     of 

Louis  XIV 1676 

Louis    starts    the    Bank   of 

Bribery 1677 

Peace  of  Nimwegen — Apogee 

of  Louis  XIV 1679 

First  Dragonnades ....  1681 
Jurieu's  Protestation  of  the 

Huguenots  of  the  South  .  1683 

Rising  in  the  Vivarais       .     .  1683 

The  turlvs  at  Vienna  .     .     .  1683 
Forced   Conversion   of    the 

Bearnois 1685 

Battle  of  Sedgemoor    July  1G85 
The     Second    Dragonnades 

Autumn  of  1685 
Revocation  of  the  Edict  of 

Nantes      .     .     .    Oct.  18  1685 






'I  KNOW  110  words  that  can  depict  the  wretched  state  of 
the  French  people  at  this  time/  says  one  of  our  most 
eminent  literary  authorities^  writing  of  the  period 
when  the  doctrines  of  the  Keformation  began  to  per- 
meate France.  '  Incessant  war  had  taken  brave 
young  men  out  of  the  fields,  and  left  thousands  of 
them  dead  on  a  foreign  soil,  or  returned  them  to  the 
country  men  of  debauched  life,  bullies,  cripples.  The 
immense  cost  of  these  wars  had  been  defrayed  by 
excessive  taxes,  recklessly  imagined,  cruelly  enforced. 
The  lust  and  luxury  of  a  debased  court  had  grown 
fat  for  years  upon  the  money  of  the  poor.  Almost 
every  year  saw  the  creation  of  new  salaried  officials, 
whom  the  people  had  to  carry  on  their  backs,  and  pay 
besides,  for  doing  them  the  honour  to  be  burdens. 
The  morals  of  the  people  were  perverted,  they  were 
impoverished,    embittered,    made   litigious,    and    de- 


voured  by  lawyers  before  judges,  of  whom  scarcely 
one  in  ten  was  unassailable  by  bribe.  The  Church  was 
a  machine  for  burning  heretics  and  raising  tithes. 
Against  the  debasing  influence  of  a  corrupt  court, 
which  extended  among  all  ranks  of  the  nobility,  and 
through  them  was  displayed  before  the  ignorant 
among  their  fields, — against  the  vice  bred  in  the 
camp,  and  dispersed  along  the  march  of  armies,  or 
brought  home  by  thousands  of  disbanded  soldiers, — 
the  Church,  as  a  whole,  made  not  one  effort  to  estab- 
lish Christian  discipline.  Pastors  laboured  only  at 
the  shearing  of  their  flocks ;  bishops  received,  in 
idle  and  luxurious  abodes,  their  own  large  portion  of 
the  wool.  Instead  of  dwelling  in  their  bishoprics, 
and  struggling  for  the  cause  of  Christ,  no  less  than 
forty  of  these  bishops  were  at  this  time  in  Paris, 
holding  their  mouths  open  like  dogs  for  bits  of  meat, 
and  struggling  for  the  cause  of  Guise  or  Mont- 
morenci  !  ^  ^ 

And  this  state  of  things  had  gone  on  to  a  greater 
or  less  degree  for  ages,  for  it  is  a  very  romantic  notion 
to  suppose  that  in  feudal  times  the  people  were  any- 
thing but  miserable.  There  were  possibly  periods  and 
places  in  which  their  existence  became  bearable,  but 
as  far  as  this  world  is  concerned  it  was  that  of  sheep 
born  to  be  shorn  or  slaughtered ;  of  bees  who  toiled 
ceaselessly  to  make  honey,  which  their  masters  as 
regularly  ate.  And,  owing  to  the  feeble  condition  of 
the  French  monarchy,  there  was  probably  no  country 
in  Christendom  in  which  the  lot  of  the  common 
people  was  worse  than  it  was  in  France.  What  with 
seigniorial  rights  and  ecclesiastical  fees,  they  were  so 
crushed  that  in  a  merely  material  sense  serfdom  was 
preferable  to  the  miseries  of  such  a  parody  of  free- 

'  Henry  Morley's  Pallssy  the  Potter,  vol.  i.  p.  251. 


dom.  Of  seigniorial  rights,  Renaudin  names  no  less 
than  ninety-three.  The  shearing  was  so  close  that 
the  peasant  had  to  pay  a  tax  for  the  use  of  the  rain- 
water in  the  ditches  and  ruts  on  the  roadside,  for  the 
dust  his  cattle  made  on  the  highway,  and  the  honey 
his  bees  gathered  from  the  lord's  flowers.  What  the 
seigniors  left  the  clergy  took.  There  were  dues  for 
baptisms,  communion,  confession,  penance,  masses, 
betrothal,  marriage,  extreme  unction,  interment;  there 
were  blessings  to  be  paid  for  on  the  fields,  gardens, 
ponds,  wells,  fountains,  houses  newly  built,  grapes, 
beans,  lambs,  cheese,  milk,  honey,  cattle,  swords, 
poignards,  and  flags ;  there  were  offerings  to  the  mass, 
offerings  to  the  first-fruits,  offerings  of  the  first-born 
of  domestic  animals,  etc.,  etc.  Had  these  innumer- 
able payments  gone  to  support  a  body  of  true  pastors, 
it  would  have  been  a  bad  system ;  but  as  it  was,  a 
considerable  part  found  its  way  to  the  pockets  of 
inflaential  laymen,  and  a  still  more  considerable  share 
into  those  of  the  aristocratic  rulers  of  the  Church, 
such  as  the  Cardinal  of  Bourbon  and  the  Cardinal  of 
Lorraine,  whose  shameless  pluralism  exceeds  all  belief. 
While  these  wealthy  shepherds  spent  their  days  in 
court  intrigues,  or  amused  themselves  with  parading 
as  lights  of  the  Renaissance,  the  actual  pastors  were 
sunk  in  ignorance.  Jean  de  Montluc,  Bishop  of 
Valence,  stated  in  his  sermons  (1559),  that  out  of  ten 
priests  there  were  eight  who  did  not  know  how  to 

In  addition  to  all  this  ecclesiastical  fleecing,  the 
royal  taxes,  ever  increasing,  became,  under  Francis 
I.,  owing  to  his  Italian  wars,  captivity  in  Spain,  and 
luxurious  court,  a  burden  truly  frightful. 

The  people,  during  the  fifteenth  century,  were  in 
such  abject  poverty  that  a  famine  produced  results 
like  those  which  now  occur  in  India.     In  1488,  misery, 


pestilence,  and  despair  carried  off  in  Paris  alone  80/JOO 
victims.  In  1 119,  there  was  no  harvest;  the  labourers 
were  dead  or  had  fled  ;  little  had  been  sown^  and  that 
little  had  been  ravaged.  The  crowds  round  the 
bakers*  shops  in  Paris  were  incredible ;  heaps  of 
starving  boys  and  girls  lay  on  the  dunghills,  dying 
of  cold  and  hunger.  In  142 1,  the  famine  was  even 
worse;  wolves  scoured  the  depopulated  country, 
scratching  up  the  new-made  graves,  and  even  entered 
Paris.  No  doubt  things  rarely  reached  this  pitch, 
nevertheless  misery  was  chronic.  The  towns  gradu- 
ally delivered  themselves  from  many  burdens,  and 
ruling  themselves,  the  citizens  grew  even  wealthy. 
But  in  the  open  country  the  people  were  still  domi- 
nated by  the  nobles,  who  from  their  unapproachable 
donjons  could  at  any  time  swoop  down  on  the  villages 
and  scour  them  out,  setting  fire  to  what  they  could 
not  carry  off,  chasing  before  them  the  herds  and  the 
inhabitants,  dishonouring  the  women,  cruelly  torturing 
the  men  and  children^  and  those  who  could  not  ransom 

These  things,  and  worse  than  these,  went  on  for 
ages  in  the  presence  of  a  Church  universal  and 
supreme,  which  said  enough  to  let  the  people  know 
that  this  was  not  the  will  of  God,  but,  on  the  contrary, 
the  exact  opposite  to  Ilis  will,  and  yet  made  itself 
responsible  for  the  whole  system  by  mixing  itself  up 
with  it,  and  becoming  its  chief  support.  Could  any 
plan  have  been  more  likely  to  produce  discontent? 
And  the  welcome  which  the  Reformers  everywhere 
received  is  proof  of  the  wide  and  deep  discontent. 
The  very  word  Reform  was  in  itself  an  evangel,  but 
it  was  rendered  ten  thousandfold  more  so  than  it 
otherwise  would  have  been,  since  its  doctrine  did  not 
merely  promise  a  better  order  of  society,  more  liberty, 
equality,  fraternity.      It  promised  to  make  of  every 


individual  who  believed  it  a  man,  to  lift  him  out  of 
that  servile,  cowardly  spirit  which  kept  him  a  slave 
in  heart  as  well  as  in  body ;  and  this  it  did  by  making 
him  feel  that  God  knew  and  called  him  personally, 
asking  him  to  enter  into  a  personal  alliance  with  Him, 
offering  him  pardon  and  justification  through  the  oue 
atoning  sacrifice  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  gift  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  and  adoption  into  the  redeemed  family  of  God. 
He  who  had  consciously  entered  into  this  alliance,  who 
had  felt  the  new,  the  Divine  life  within  him,  had  no 
fear  of  standing  before  the  proudest.  He  felt  himself 
more  than  equal  to  any  earthly  prince,  for  he  knew 
himself  to  be  one  of  God^s  chosen  servants,  predes- 
tined to  eternal  salvation  before  all  worlds. 

An  aged  man  lay  in  the  Bastille.  He  had  com- 
menced life  as  a  poor  artisan,  ignorant  and  indigent. 
He  had  embraced  the  Gospel  as  taught  by  the  Re- 
formers. A  great  artist,  to  whose  talents  the  Valois 
owed  much.  Henri  III.  went  to  visit  him.  ^  My  good 
man,'  said  his  royal  patron,  '  for  five  and  forty  years 
you  have  worked  for  the  queen-mother  and  myself. 
We  have  endured  your  living  in  your  religion  amoug 
fires  and  massacres,  now  I  am  so  pressed  by  Guise^s 
people  and  my  own,  that  in  spite  of  myself  I  have 
been  constrained  to  put  you  in  prison,  and  unless  you 
are  converted,  you  will  be  burnt  to-morrow.' 

^  Sire,'  replied  the  old  prisoner,  '  you  have  several 
times  said  you  have  pity  on  me;  but  I  have  pity  on 
you,  for  you  have  uttered  the  words,  "I  am  con- 
strained." That  is  not  to  talk  as  a  king ;  I  who  have 
part  in  the  kingdom  of  heaven  will  teach  you  more 
royal  language ;  and  it  is  this,  that  the  Guisards,  all 
your  people,  and  even  yourself,  will  not  know  how  to 
constrain  a  potter  to  bend  his  knees  to  statues,  for  I 
know  how  to  die.' 




In  1521  tlie  pope  made  a  treaty  with  Charles  Y.,  Em- 
peror-elect of  Germany,  and  invited  him  to  come  and 
drive  Francis  I.  out  of  Italy.  The  unfortunate  inhabi- 
tants of  the  North-eastern  provinces  of  France  soon 
saw  hovering  on  the  frontier  the  terrible  German 
lanzhieclde,  and  trembled  for  themselves  and  all  dear 
to  them.  They  knew  there  was  no  army  to  defend  them, 
the  king  having  drained  the  country  of  its  soldiers. 
Fear  of  coming  trouble  made  them  think  of  God. 

It  was  under  such  circumstances  that  the  doctrines 
of  the  Reformation  were  first  preached  in  France,  and 
in  one  city  especially  they  took  root  and  bore  much 
fruit.  The  small  episcopal  town  of  Meaux  was,  as  it 
were,  the  Bethlehem  of  the  Keformation. 

Guillaume  Briconnet,  Bishop  of  Meaux,  not  only 
wished  a  general  Beformation  of  the  Church,  but  he 
did  what  he  could  to  bring  it  about  in  his  own  diocese. 
Among  the  men  who  gathered  round  him,  Jacques 
TjofC'vre  stands  out  as  the  patriarch  of  French  Pro- 
testantism. He  was  at  this  date  nearly  seventy  years 
of  nge,  a  doctor  of  theology  in  the  University  of  Paris, 
with  a  great  reputation  for  learning.  Born  in  Picardy, 
in  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century,  of  very  humbk^ 
parentage,  Lefovre  owed  his  distinguished  position 
both  to  the  light  of  genius  and  to  the  light  of  grace. 
When  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith  was  just 
dawning  upon  Luther,  Lefcvre  was  already  preaching 
it  in  France. 

Among  his  disciples  was  a  youth  from  the  Dauphine, 
named  Guillaume  Farcl,  ardent  in  spirit  and  intensely 
religious,  who,  after  seeking  satisfaction  in  vain  at  the 
shrines  of  superstition,  at  last  found  it  in  the  preaching 


of  Lefevre.  'My  dear  Guillaume/  the  old  seer  would 
say,  ^  God  will  renovate  the  world,  and  you  will  see 
it/  Lefevre,  like  Moses,  caught  only  a  glimpse  of  the 
Promised  Land  ;  Farel,  as  another  Joshua,  entered  in, 
and  living  the  life  of  a  man  of  war,  won  many  a  battle 
and  set  up  the  flag  of  the  Reformation  both  in  France 
and  Switzerland.  ^If  we  look  to  dates,^  says 
D'Aubigne,  '  we  must  admit  that  the  glory  of  begin- 
ning the  Reformation  belongs  neither  to  Switzerland 
nor  to  Germany,  but  to  France/ 

Farel  was  supported  by  other  missionaries  :  Pierre 
de  Sebville,  at  Grenoble ;  Amedee  Maigret,  at  Lyon ; 
Michel  d^Arande,  at  Magon;  Etienne  Machopolis  and 
Etienne  Renier,  at  Annonay ;  Melchior  Wolmar,  at 
Orleans ;  Jean  de  Catuce,  at  Toulouse.  These  are  but 
names,  but  let  us  hold  them  sacred,  for  they  represent 
men  who  were  apostles  of  purity  and  light. 

And  what  was  the  condition  of  the  people  among 
whom  they  went  to  preach  ?  Slaves  bound  in  fetters 
of  gross  superstition,  their  masters  meanwhile  careless 
of  every  yoke,  moral  or  religious.  Bishops  might  be 
seen  pressing  people  to  drink  with  them,  rattling  the 
dice-box,  yelling  after  rooks  and  deer,  entering  houses 
of  debauchery.^  A  brothel  was  attached  to  the  royal 
palace,  but  no  one  in  the  court  could  have  exceeded 
the  king  himself  in  licentiousness.  If  any  one  will 
examine  his  portraits  as  preserved  in  the  Louvre,  they 
will  see  a  rake's  progress  depicted  more  vividly  than 
anything  Hogarth  has  imagined. 

And  these  rulers  in  Church  and  State  would  listen 
to  any  scurrility  ;  their  tolerance  was  truly  wonderful. 
Rabelais  not  only  satirised  all  classes  of  society,  but 

^  Such  were  the  charges,  and  worse,  Lefevre  openly  made 
in  his  lectures,  and  they  are  mild  to  any  one  wbo  knows  the 


even  tbe  king  himself,  nay,  he  even  passed  his  joke 
with  the  pope  in  person,  no  offence  being  given  as 
long  as  a  moralist  turned  the  world  into  a  pantomime, 
and  feathered  his  shafts  with  plenty  of  obscene  wit. 
But  when  the  preacher  seemed  really  serious,  when  he 
spoke  the  plain  truth,  in  solemn  language,  when  in  all 
sincerity  he  called  out  for  reformation,  then  these 
cultured,  vicious  sons  of  the  Renaissance  very  soon 
cried,  '  Away  with  him  ;  it  is  not  fit  that  such  a  fellow 
should  live  ! ' 

Old  Paris  was  divided  into  three  parts,  in  each  of 
which  the  dominating  power  centred  respectively  in 
the  Chateau,  the  Cathedral,  and  the  University.  Thus 
the  king^s  power  in  Paris  was  practically  shared  with 
the  bishop  and  the  provost  of  the  Sorbonne.  The 
doctors  of  the  latter  institution,  led  by  a  theologian, 
Noel  Beda,  and  supported  by  the  chancellor,  Antoine 
Duprat,  together  with  the  monks,  led  the  persecution. 
When  the  scribes,  lawyers,  and  Pharisees,  the  Sor- 
bonne, the  Parliament,  and  the  monastic  institutions 
on  the  southern  bank  of  the  Seine,  had  well  raised  the 
cry  of  heresy,  lighted  the  fires,  and  collected  the  mob, 
then  Herod  and  Caiaphas  were  willing  to  appear  and 
sanction  the  persecution  with  their  presence  and 

One  of  the  first  things  done  was  to  frighten  the 
Bishop  of  Meaux  into  silence.  In  Paris,  however,  the 
Sorbonne  had  to  deal  with  a  man  of  infinitely  more 
fortitude  than  the  good  Briconnet.  Louis  de  Berquin 
is  spoken  of  by  Beza  as  one  who  might  have  been  the 
Luther  of  France.  By  birth  he  belonged  to  the  nobility, 
was  very  pious,  and  quite  remarkable  for  purity  of  life. 
A  learned  and  honest  man,  he  could  not  put  up  with 
the  ignorance  and  tenebrous  ways  of  the  Sorbonne, 
and  spoke  his  mind  freely  to  the  king.  A  controversy 
caused  him  to  look  into  the  Bible.     He  was  astonished 



to  find  not  a  word  about  praying  to  the  Virgin  Mary, 
and  other  fundamental  doctrines  of  the  Roman  Church, 
but  much  that  he  had  never  heard  taught.  Con- 
viction with  Berquin  was  soon  translated  into  act, 
and  the  Sorbonne  denounced  him  to  the  Parliament. 
Francis  stepped  in,  and  Berquin  went  on  his  way.  A 
second  time  the  Sorbonne  cited  him,  and  now  before 
the  bishop ;  but  the  king  removed  the  cause  to  his 
own  tribunal,  and  only  exhorted  Berquin  to  prudence. 
A  third  time  he  was  prosecuted  by  the  same  set  of 
scribes  and  lawyers,  and  this  time,  Francis  being  at 
Madrid,  and  the  queen-mother  on  their  side,  they 
reckoned  on  destroying  their  victim;  but  the  king  sent 
an  order  for  his  release.  The  Sorbonne  was  enraged, 
and  Francis  made  them  still  more  furious  by  order- 
ing them  to  censure  certain  propositions  denounced 
by  Berquin,  or  to  establish  them  by  texts  from  the 

Suddenly  an  image  of  the  Virgin  at  one  of  the  cross- 
ings in  Paris  was  mutilated.  There  was  a  plot,  they 
cried,  an  attack  on  religion,  on  the  prince,  on  order. 
All  law  was  going  to  be  overturned,  all  titles  to  be 
abolished.  Behold  the  fruits  of  the  doctrines  preached 
by  Berquin  !  The  cry  succeeded,  a  panic  seized  the 
parliament,  the  people,  and  even  the  king.  Berquin 
was  imprisoned  for  the  fourth  time,  and  condemned 
to  be  hanged  and  burnt  on  the  Place  de  Greve.  And 
thither,  on  the  21st  of  November,  1529,  he  was  taken 
to  execution,  guarded  by  six  hundred  men — proof  of  the 
sympathy  felt  for  him,  or  believed  by  his  enemies  to 
be  felt  for  him.  He  descended  from  the  tumbril  with 
a  firm  step,  and  accepted  death  with  such  serenity 
that  after  the  execution  the  grand  penitentiary  said 
aloud  before  the  people  that  for  a  hundred  years  no 
one  in  France  had  died  a  better  Christian. 

Such  scenes,  added  to  the  preaching  and  dissemi- 



nation  of  the  Scriptures  and  religious  tracts,  caused 
tlie  desire  for  reform  to  spread  far  and  wide.  In  the 
autumn  of  1534,  a  violent  placard  against  the  mass 
was  posted  about  Paris,  and  one  was  even  fixed  on 
the  king^s  own  chamber.  The  cry  was  soon  raised, 
'  Death  !   death  to  the  heretics  ! ' 

Francis  had  long  dallied  with  the  Reformation — it 
was  to  his  interest  as  a  king  to  support  it — and  his 
sister  Margaret,  its  sincere  friend,  influenced  him  in 
its  favour.  His  great  opponent  was  Charles  V.,  and 
the  chief  political  fact  of  the  times  was  their  rivalry  for 
the  leadership  of  Europe.  But  Francis  I.  had  not  the 
moral  courage  to  follow  the  example  of  his  ally,  the 
King  of  England,  or  he  might  have  placed  himself  at 
the  head  of  a  Protestant  League  in  Europe,  and  have 
become  in  a  way  a  second  Charlemagne. 

But  when  the  moment  for  decision  came,  and  on  the 
21st  of  October,  1532,  he  met  Henry  VIII.  at  Boulogne 
to  discuss  the  appeal  of  the  German  Protestants,  he 
covered  his  irresolution  by  playing  the  gallant  to 
Anne  Boleyn.  So  now,  two  years  later  on,  he  develops 
into  what  was  quite  contrary  to  his  disposition,  a 
cruel  persecutor. 

A  certain  bourgeois  of  Paris,  unaffected  by  any 
heretical  notions,  kept  in  those  days  a  diary  of  what 
was  going  on[in  Paris,  and  from  this  precious  document, 
long  printed  as  one  of  the  archives  of  the  history  of 
France,  we  learn  that  between  the  13th  of  November, 
1534,  and  the  loth  of  March,  1535,  twenty  so-called 
Lutherans  were  put  to  death  in  Paris.  On  the  10th 
of  November  seven  persons  were  sentenced  to  be 
taken  in  a  tumbril  to  be  burnt,  and  on  their  road  to 
make  an  apology  before  a  church,  holding  a  lighted 
taper  in  their  hands.  This  was  the  usual  process 
with  heretics. 

13th  Nov.     Barthelmy  Milon,   the  son  of  a  shoe- 

A    PARIS  DIARY  OF  1534.  19 

maker,  and  a  paralytic,  was  burnt  alive  in  tlie  cemetery 
of  St.  Jean.^ 

14tli  Nov.  Jean  dii  Bourg,  a  ricli  draper,  wlio  had 
put  up  one  of  the  placards,  had  his  hand  cut  off  before 
the  Fontaine  des  Innocents,  and  was  then  burnt  alive 
at  the  Halles.  A  printer  of  the  Rue  St.  Jacques  was 
burnt  alive  the  same  day  on  the  Place  Maubert. 

18th  Nov.  A  mason  was  burnt  alive  before  the 
church  St.  Catherine  du  Saint-Anthony. 

]  9th  Nov.  A  bookseller  hanged  and  his  body  burnt 
on  the  Place  Maubert. 

4th  Dec.  A  young  clerk  burnt  alive  before  the 

5th  Dec.  A  young  illuminator  hanged,  and  his  body 
burnt  at  the  end  of  the  Pont  St.  Michel. 

7tli  Dec.  A  young  hosier  flogged  naked  at  the 
cartas  tail,  and  then  banished. 

Christmas  and  its  attendant  feasts  now  intervening, 
the  tragedies  were  suspended — a  sort  of  interlude, 
which  concluded  on  the  25bh  of  January  with  an 
imposing  procession  of  cardinals,  archbishops,  and 
bishops,  coped  and  mitred,  carrying  all  the  rehcs  in 
Paris,  followed  by  the  king,  bare-headed,  a  lighted 
torch  in  his  hand,  and  accompanied  by  all  the  princes, 
knights,  legal  authorities,  and  representatives  of  the 
trades  of  Paris.  Innumerable  citizens,  each  holding 
a  lighted  taper,  kept  the  way  on  both  sides,  all  kneel- 

1  Micbelet  tells  a  beautiful  story  of  this  poor  boy.  A  spite- 
ful little  gamin  cle  Paris,  paralysed  and  malicious,  he  sat  ab 
his  father's  door  mocking  the  passers-by.  A  servant  of  God, 
thus  reproached,  turned  back,  spoke  gently  to  the  poor  boy, 
and  gave  him  a  copy  o£  the  Gospels.  Barthelmy  read  it,  was 
converted,  and  became  an  exemplary  youth,  labouring  for 
his  living  as  a  teacher  of  writing  and  armorial  engravmg; 
but,  being  found  possessed  of  a  placard  against  the  mass, 
■was  burnt  as  above  related. 


ing  devoutly  at  the  passage  of  the  host.  It  was  the 
aiiicnde  lionorahlo  to  the  mass,  so  outraged  by  that 
unfortunate  placard.  The  roofs  of  the  tall,  gabled 
houses  were  covered  with  people,  and  every  window 
crowded  with  heads  to  watch  the  gorgeous  procession, 
its  brilliant  colours  lit  up  by  thousands  of  flaming- 
lights,  make  its  way  through  the  dark,  narrow  streets. 
After  mass  the  king  dined  with  the  bishop,  Jean  de 
Bcllay,  friend  of  Rabelais  and  even  of  Melanchthon, 
and  the  repast  concluded,  Francis,  seated  on  a  throne, 
protested,  in  presence  of  the  assembled  notables,  that 
he  would  not  pardon  the  crime  of  heresy  even  in  one 
of  his  own  children  ;  nay,  if  one  of  the  members  of  his 
body  was  infected,  he  would  cut  it  off  with  his  own 

After  this  hypocritical  parade  six  Lutherans  were 
roasted  alive,  and,  to  give  still  more  satisfaction  to 
the  savage  vengeance  of  the  persecutors,  the  martyrs 
were  suspended  to  a  movable  gibbet,  which  rose  and 
fell,  so  that  they  were  alternately  plunged  into  and 
then  drawn  out  of  the  flames.  This  mode  of  execution 
was  called  the  estrapade. 

The  appetite  for  blood  having  been  thus  whetted, 
the  numbers  destroyed  would  have  been  considerable, 
had  not  most  of  the  best-known  heretics  in  Paris  fled. 
On  the  25th  of  January  seventy-three  Lutherans  were 
suuimoned  by  sound  of  trumpet  to  appear,  their  goods 
were  confiscated,  and  their  bodies  condemned  to  be 

Kith  Feb.  Etienne  de  la  Forge,  a  wealthy  merchant, 
much  esteemed,  was  burnt  alive  at  the  cemetery  of 
St.  Jean.  His  wife  was  condemned  two  months  later, 
and  her  goods  confiscated. 

19th  Feb.  A  goldsmith  and  a  painter  were  flogged 
naked  at  the  cartas  tail,  their  goods  confiscated,  and 
themselves  banished. 



26tli  Feb.  A  youug  mercer  burnt  alive  at  tlie  end 
of  the  Pont  St.  Michel.  His  wife  died  of  grief  seven 
weeks  after.  On  the  same  day  a  young  scholar  of 
Grenoble  was  burnt  alive. 

loth  March.  A  chanter  of  the  chapel  royal  was 
burnt  alive  at  the  crossway  of  Grostournois^  near  St. 
Germain  FAuxerrois. 

A  great  number  of  these  martyrs  were^  it  will  be 
seen^  young  people.  Thus  the  prince  of  the  Renais- 
sance tried  to  stifle  the  germs  of  a  new  world. 


CALviff  AND  Geneva. 

The  panic  caused  by  the  Anabaptist  outbreak  at 
Munster  may  perhaps  account  for  the  extreme  cruelty 
described  in  the  last  chapter,  as  the  siege  was  in  actual 
progress  at  the  time.  It  was  to  defend  the  memories 
of  the  martyrs  of  the  29th  of  January,  1535,  and  of 
others  who  had  suffered  elsewhere,  and  to  save,  if 
possible,  those  menaced  with  a  similar  fate,  that  Calvin 
wrote  his  Institution  of  tlie  Christian  Religion.  A 
timid,  feeble-bodied  young  student,  he  had  fled  from 
France,  in  the  hope  of  finding  some  retreat  where  he 
might  lose  himself  in  the  studies  he  loved.  Passing 
through  Geneva  with  the  intention  of  staying  there 
only  for  a  night,  he  met  the  indefatigable,  ubiquitous, 
enterprising,  courageous  Farel,  who,  taking  him  by 
the  hand,  adjured  him  to  stop  and  carry  on  the  work 
in  that  city.  Calvin  shrank  instinctively,  but  Farel 
proceeded  to  imprecate  such  a  fearful  curse  on  all  he 
should  do  if  he  left  them,  that  he  was  forced  to  yield. 
Four  months,  however,  elapsed  before  he  would  be 
made  a  pastor,' and  he  said  that  he  was  right  glad  at 
heart  when,  after  a  year  or  two,  he  and   Farel  were 


exiled  from  Geneva,  tliinking  ifc  a  release  from  a  career 
he  wished  to  avoid.  But  he  had  to  go  back  under 
pressure  of  a  cordial  invitation  from  the  Geneva 
authorities,  backed  by  Martin  Bucer's  threats  of  a 
heavy  curse. 

If  we  look  at  the  frontispiece  portrait,  taken  from 
one  in  the  print-room  in  the  British  Museum,  and 
which  carries  with  it  the  marks  of  authenticity,  we 
behold  a  man  who  is  evidently  controlled  by  an  over- 
powering sense  of  duty.  Nevertheless,  under  that 
sadly  painful  expression,  we  see  a  character  peculiarly 
iltted  for  the  work  to  which  Calvin  was  called.  In 
that  large,  full  forehead,  what  intelligence  !  in  that  long, 
thin  nose  what  penetration  !  in  those  dreamy,  thought- 
ful eyes  what  concentred  life  !  in  that  severe  mouth 
what  inflexibility  !  in  that  extraordinary  beard — a  tuft 
with  two  tails,  springing  out  in  advance  of  the  great 
beak  of  a  nose — what  intense  individuality  !  In  some 
of  his  portraits  the  pose  of  his  head  renders  this 
strange  beard  still  more  peculiar.  It  is  thrown  for- 
ward in  a  way  absolutely  defiant,  while  the  eyes  look 
upward.  A  born  king — might  we  not  rather  say  a 
born  tyrant,  using  that  word  in  its  noblest,  best 
sense  ? 

Calvin,  once  settled  at  Geneva,  had  no  more  doubt 
about  his  calling  than  if  he  had  been  Moses  himself. 
No  doubt  he  lacked  the  humanity,  the  glowing  imagina- 
tion, the  prophetic  insight  of  the  Hebrew  seer;  but  he 
had  a  similar  genius  for  legislation,  a  similar  power  of 
organization,  the  same  ability  to  compel  men  to  accept 
his  rule  of  life. 

Cities  have  a  calling  even  as  individuals.  Geneva 
filled  as  important  a  part  in  the  Heformation  as  Calvin. 
Its  geographical  position  marked  it  as  a  city  of  the 
nations.  Upon  it  converged  the  roads  which  con- 
nected Central  Germany  with  Southern  France.     An 


episcopal  city  during  the  Middle  Ages^  it  had  just 
asserted  its  liberty  against  the  usurpation  of  the  Duke 
of  Savoy  and  the  treachery  of  its  own  bishop.  While 
its  traditions  were  thus  theocratic,  it  was  ready  to  be 
the  scene  of  new  essays  in  social  organization. 

Calvin  came,  saw,  and  conquered,  for  his  foes,  though 
numerous,  were  by  no  means  his  match.  Out  of  this 
free,  laughing,  gay  Geneva,  he  sought  to  make  a  civitas 
Dei,  a  city  set  upon  a  hill,  the  example,  the  centre, 
the  rock  of  the  new  and  Divine  life  now  surgfing*  in  the 
chaos  into  which  Europe  had  fallen.  Calvin^s  unerring 
logic,  his  pure  and  living  style,  dominated  the  greater 
part  of  men  of  culture,  learning,  or  power  of  thought 
attached  to  the  Reformation.  Minds  as  original  as 
his  own,  but  of  an  entirely  different  mould,  naturally 
abhorred  his  mode  of  thinking  and  acting.  But  their 
influence  was  as  nothing  compared  to  his.  The  law 
went  forth  from  Geneva,  forming  not  only  an  eccle- 
siastical society  in  Switzerland,  but  a  far  greater  one 
in  France,  as  well  as  that  of  Scotland,  and  in  the  end 
vastly  affecting  that  of  England. 

Calvin's  mind  was  essentially  a  legal  one.  He  was, 
first  and  before  all  things,  a  legislator.  He  was  able 
to  accept  certain  points  as  not  to  be  discussed,  but 
these  premisses  admitted,  he  argued  from  step  to  step, 
fearless  of  the  consequences.  He  accepted  the  general 
position  of  all  the  Reformers,  who,  regarding  the  Bible 
as  the  palladium  against  the  encroachments  of  papal 
authority,  gave  it  the  position  formerly  occupied  in 
their  minds  by  the  Church.  The  Bible,  the  sole  rule 
to  follow,  without  mixing  with  it  anything  else,  or 
adding  to  it  or  taking  from  it — this  was  the  starting- 
point  from  which  he  deduced  everything  he  taught. 

In  this  way  Calvin  found  the  germs  of  his  new 
ecclesiastical  polity.  The  Church  must  be  reformed 
according  to  the  New   Testament.     Many  references 


were  there  made  to  the  customs  of  the  primitive 
Church.  He  found  mention  made  of  four  offices  : 
pastors,  teachers,  elders,  and  deacons.  The  pastors  he 
formed  into  a  college  which  controlled  all  the  spiritual 
affairs  of  the  Chnrcli,  selecting  and  appointing  the 
candidates  for  the  ministry^  and  nominating  them  to 
various  charges  with  the  sanction  of  the  people.  To 
this  first  ecclesiastical  court  he  added  a  second  for 
discipline.  This  was  formed  chiefly  of  elders  and 
deacons,  but  the  clerical  element  being  permanent, 
while  the  lay  fluctuated,  the  ministers  easily  preserved 
the  leading  influence ;  and  it  was  of  this  court  Calvin 
himself  gradually  assumed  the  presidency,  and  by  means 
of  which  he  carried  on  his  work.  He  enunciated 
with  great  force  the  doctrine  so  closely  connected  with 
his  name  :  the  doctrine  of  election  and  of  reprobation, 
of  the  existence  of  a  line  of  chosen  saints  and  a  line 
of  lost  sinners.  But  in  the  ecclesiastical  society  ho 
founded  he  attempted  no  such  division ;  every 
Genevese  was  a  member,  and  so  amenable  to  the 
Church  courts.  Thus  the  functions  of  the  consistoi-ial 
court  of  discipline  easily  covered  everything  connected 
with  the  life  of  the  people.  The  minutest  point  in 
dress,  the  greatest  affairs  in  the  State,  could  be  brought 
within  its  jurisdiction.  It  may,  as  an  instrument  of 
despotism,  be  placed  in  the  same  category  as  the  Star 
Chamber  and  the  Inquisition.  But  how  different  the 
results !  Geneva,  during  the  last  three  centuries,  has 
produced  more  men  of  eminence  in  science  and 
literature  than  any  other  town  of  equal  size,  some  of 
its  families  having  become  almost  scientific  dynasties. 
Education,  luminous  and  progressive,  has  ever  been 
characteristic  of  the  city  of  Calvin.  Whence  the 
difference  ?  It  all  lies  in  the  motive.  Calvin's  institu- 
tions had  no  other  object  than  to  secure  to  man  the 
advance  in  light  and  liberty  made  by  the  Keformation  ; 


tlie  Star  Chamber  and  the  Inquisitiou  were  instituted 
to  crush  every  aspiration  in  that  direction. 

From  Geneva  went  forth  the  influence  which 
sustained  the  cause  of  the  Eeformation  in  its  deadly 
strife  of  three  centuries.  The  pastors  of  the  Desert, 
the  Camisards,  the  suSerers  from  the  revocation  of 
the  Edict  of  Nantes,  looked  to  it  as  the  Puritans  of 
England,  the  Covenanters  of  Scotland,  and  the  Protes- 
tants of  the  Netherlands  had  done,  as  a  sacred  city 
where  dwelt  the  ark  of  God  and  the  shechinah ; 
Geneva  was  even  more  the  Protestant  Jerusalem  than 
the  Protestant  Rome. 


Light  and  Joy  Flood  France. 

Geneva  under  Calvin — words  fail  to  describe  its 
value  to  the  cause  of  the  Reformation.  Thirty  presses 
worked  day  and  night  to  print  a  multitude  of  books 
which  ardent  colporteurs  carried  over  France,  chief 
among*  them  being"  a  small  edition  of  the  Bible  ^  and  a 
book  of  French  psalms  set  to  music. ^  Many  of  these 
indefatigable  missionaries  gave  their  lives  in  the  cause. 
Pierre  Chabot,  discovered  by  a  spy  of  the  Sorbonne  in 
1546,  suffered  martyrdom  in  the  Place  Maubert.  He 
argued  modestly  with  his  judges,  he  harangued  the 
people  from  the  executioner^s  cart ;  he  would  not  cease 
until  they  tightened  the  cord  and  finally  stopped  his 

1  The  firsb  translation  of  the  Scriptures  was  made  in  149-i 
and  published  in  1498.     Others  followed. 

-  In  the  British  Museum,  under  the  head  'Liturgies,  French 
Eeformed  Church,'  may  be  found  one  of  these  books  published 
in  1566,  a  pocket  edition,  about  the  length  of  a  thumb,  beauti- 
fully printed,  and  containing  not  only  the  Psalms  with  the 
music  to  each,  but  the  form  of  prayers  and  the  catechism,  bap- 
tismal and  other  services. 


voice.  0  tliis  terrible  Word  !  if  it  were  thus  allowed 
to  turn  tlio  scaffold  into  a  pulpifc,  all  would  be  lost; 
henceforth,  in  every  case,  convicted  heretics  were  to 
have  their  tongues  cut  out. 

Nevertheless,  and  perhaps  in  consequence  of  such 
barbarities,  the  Reformers  rapidly  increased,  so  that  it 
is  reckoned  that  by  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century 
one-sixth  of  the  population  of  France  had  embraced 
their  doctrine.  How  the  seed  germinated  may  be 
gathered  from  a  work  left  us  by  Bernard  Palissy,  called 
L'histoire  des  troubles  de  Xaintonge.  The  first  stir- 
rings of  the  public  conscience  in  the  province  of 
Saintonge  were  caused  by  some  monks  who  had  either 
been  in  Germany  or  had  in  some  way  had  their  eyes 
opened  to  the  great  scandal  of  the  time — the  concen- 
tration of  ecclesiastical  property  in  the  hands  of  a  few, 
and  those  frequently  not  clergymen  at  all.  When  the 
priests  and  holders  of  benefices  understood  that  these 
bold  monks  wished  to  interfere  with  their  property, 
they  incited  the  magistrates  to  come  down  upon  them, 
which  the  magistrates  did  with  exceeding  good-will, 
beinof  themselves  in  several  cases  holders  of  some 
morsel  of  benefice.  The  monks,  having  no  desire  to 
die  at  the  stake,  hid  themselves  in  the  isles  of  Oleron, 
Marepues,  and  Allevert,  where  they  became  school- 
masters or  learnt  some  trade.  At  first,  and  with  many 
precautions,  they  spoke  only  in  secret  to  the  people ; 
but  finding  how  many  were  with  them,  by  the  tacit 
permission  of  a  grand-vicar,  they  began  to  preach,  and 
so  little  by  little  the  people  in  Saintonge  had  their 
eyes  opened,  and  became  alive  to  abuses  which  they 
would  otherwise  have  ignored. 

As  the  bishop,  an  august  personage  twenty-three 
years  of  age,  a  cardinal  and  a  prince  of  ^  the  precious 
blood  of  Monseigneur  St.  Louis,'  resided  at  court, 
these  things  might  have  gone  on    without  hindrance 


had  not  the  fiscal  attorney^  a  man  of  perverse  and  evil 
life,  sent  word  to  Monseigneur  de  Bourbon  that  the 
place  was  full  of  Lutherans.  He  received  orders  to 
extirpate  them,  together  with  a  good  sum  of  money, 
'riie  preachers  were  arrested  and  clothed  in  green, 
that  the  people  might  consider  them  fools.  To  this 
the  fiscal  attorney  added  a  further  piece  of  malicious 
cruelt}^,  for  he  bridled  them  like  horses,  filling  their 
mouths  with  an  apple  of  iron,  and  so  led  them  to  be 
burnt  alive  at  Bordeaux.     This  was  in  1546. 

Some  time  after  this,  in  1557,  an  old  priest  named 
Philibert,  who  had  been  shut  up,  probably  at  this  time 
for  his  religious  opinions,  but  who  had  obtained  his 
release-  by  dissembling  his  convictions,  returned  to 
Saintes  after  a  long  stay  at  Geneva,  determined  to 
repair  his  fault.  He  preached  the  new  doctrines,  and 
advised  the  Reformed  to  send  for  ministers  and  com- 
mence some  form  of  a  church ;  meanwhile  he  and  his 
assistants  sold  Bibles  and  other  books  printed  at 

Philibert  went  about  with  apostolic  simplicity. 
Though  weak  and  ill,  he  was  often  begged  to  use  a 
horse,  but  he  would  never  do  so,  contenting  himself 
with  the  help  of  a  staff;  neither  did  he  carry  a  sword, 
but  went  about  without  fear,  though  quite  alone. 

Having  one  day  prayed  with  some  seven  or  eight 
persons,  he  left  for  the  isles,  where  he  gathered  the 
people  by  sound  of  the  bell,  preached  to  them  and 
baptized  a  child,  which  last  act  so  alarmed  the  magis- 
trates, to  whom  the  spiritual  effects  of  a  Divine  message 
appeared  nothing  in  comparison  with  the  magic  of  a 
rite,  that  they  set  off  in  pursuit  of  this  humble  mission- 
ary with  quite  a  caravan  of  horses,  men-at-arms,  cooks, 
and  sutlers.  Having  with  great  ceremony  rebaptized 
the  child  and  arrested  Philibert,  they  sent  him  for 
trial    to   Bordeaux,    because    they   feared   their    own 


townsmeu,  wlio  lield  liim  in  reverence  as  a  lioly  man. 
He  died  on  tlic  gallows,  the  18tli  of  April,  1557. 

The  writer  to  whom  we  owe  this  history  was  a 
devoted  disciple  of  the  martyr,  and  after  his  death  set 
himself  in  his  own  simple  way  to  carry  on  his  work. 
^  There  was/  he  says,  ^  in  Xaintes,  an  artisan  poor  and 
indigent  beyond  description,  who  had  so  great  a  desire 
for  the  progress  of  the  Gospel  that  he  explained  it 
one  day  to  another  artisan,  poor  and  unlearned  as 
himself,  for  both  of  them  knew  but  little.  However, 
the  first  said  to  the  other  that  if  he  were  willing  to 
employ  himself  in  exhorting  it  would  be  the  cause  of 
great  good.''  Although,  he  to  whom  he  spoke  was 
without  knowledge,  it  gave  him  courage,  and  he 
assembled  one  Sunday  morning  some  nine  or  ten 
persons,  and  read  to  them  certain  passages  of  the  Old 
and  New  Testament  which  he  had  written  out.  He 
explained  what  he  read,  saying  that  each  according  to 
the  gifts  that  he  had  received  from  God  ought  to 
distribute  to  others.  He  read  them  the  words  in 
Deuteronomy  xi.  19,  urging  them  to  preach  on  all  occa- 
sions, in  travelling,  in  taking  their  meals,  in  rising 
up  or  lying  down,  in  sitting  by  the  wayside,  never, 
in  fact,  to  lose  an  opportunity.  They  then  agreed  to 
take  it  in  turns  to  exhort  six  weeks  at  a  time. 

Such  is  the  artless  story  of  the  foundation  of  the  first 
Reformed  Church  in  Saintes,  and  thus  doubtless  sprang 
up  spontaneously  in  vai-ious  parts  of  France  many 
others,  the  direct  action  of  the  Spirit  of  God  upon  the 
heart  of  the  people. 

And  elsewhere,  as  in  Saintonge,  it  was  some  con- 
verted priest  or  monk  who  first  preached  to  the  people 
the  doctrines  of  the  Reformation.  But  what  stirred 
up  inquiry  everywhere  was  the  dissemination  of  the 
writings  of  Luther,  and  tlie  tracts  published  by  the 
Swiss  Reformers,  which  were  disseminated  far  and  wide. 



The  former  were  brouglifc  to  the  fairs  at  Lyons  and 
carried  down  the  Ehone^  were  scattered  all  over  the 
South  of  France,  while  the  latter  came  packed  in  tuns 
as  merchandise,  and  were  carried  everywhere  by  the 
colporteurs.  However  the  work  began,  the  people 
took  it  up;  and,  as  in  primitive  times,  it  was  the 
poor  in  this  world,  rich  in  faith,  who  became  its 
preachers.  Such  was  Pierre  de  la  Vau,  a  native  of 
Pontillac,  near  Toulouse,  who  was  seized  in  the  act  of 
preaching,  standing  on  a  boundary  stone  in  the  Place  de 
la  Couronne  at  Nimes,  and  condemned  to  death,  the  8th 
of  October,  1554.  ^He  was,'  says  Crespin,  'a  shoe- 
maker by  trade  ;  but,  for  all  that,  fervent  in  the  Word 
of  God  and  well  instructed  in  it.'  And,  as  if  to  unite 
this  class  and  the  last,  we  are  told  that  the  Dominican 
prior  who  attended  him  at  his  execution,  partaking 
the  religious  convictions  of  the  victim,  spoke  to  him 
only  of  Jesus,  and  the  necessity  of  believing  in  Him  to 
have  eternal  life.  His  words  were  heard  and  reported, 
whereupon  a  writ  of  arrest  was  issued  against  him,  but 
he  escaped  to  Geneva.  The  spirit  of  Savonarola  thus 
dwelt  in  some  of  his  brethren. 

In  the  environs  of  Dieppe,  in  the  weavers'  villages, 
and  in  those  of  the  cloth-merchants  in  the  district  of 
Caux,  it  was  a  Deborah  or  a  Naomi  who,  venerated  on 
account  of  her  sorrows  and  experience,  commenced 
the  movement  by  reading  and  explaining  the  Bible  to 
a  few  persons.  The  new  doctrines  won  their  way, 
house  by  house,  family  by  family,  without  any  teach- 
ing but  that  of  the  very  poor,  who  thus  themselves 
came  back  again  to  the  simple  doctrines  and  practices 
of  the  New  Testament. 

The  particular  results  of  the  influence  of  this  little 
Church  at  Saintes  indicate  what  was  going  on  all  over 
the  country.  In  a  few  years,  gambling,  dancing, 
ballad-singing,    revelling,    fashionable    dressing    had 


nearly  all  disappeared.  No  more  mnrders_,  hardly  any 
abusive  words.  Law-suits  had  diminished.  As  Easter- 
time  approached^  people  made  up  their  quarrels.  The 
townsfolk  no  longer  went  to  gamble  and  drink  at  the 
inns,  but  spent  their  time  with  their  families.  Even 
children  seemed  to  be  strangely  thoughtful. 

Nothing,  in  fact,  so  occupied  the  minds  of  the  people 
as  religious  worship.  '  You  see/  said  the  Catholics  to 
the  priests  and  monks, '  how  the  ministers  make  prayers, 
and  lead  a  holy  life.  Why  do  you  not  do  the  same?^ 
Then  the  priests  and  monks  began  to  make  prayers 
and  preach  like  the  ministers.  '  Thus  in  these  days/ 
says  Palissy,  ^  there  were  prayers  from  one  end  of  the 
city  to  the  other.  The  same  edifice  was  used  for  both 
forms  of  worship  ;  the  Catholics  who  came  to  hear  mass 
met  the  Reformed  returning  from  the  exhortation.' 

This  great  spiritual  movement  filled  the  hearts  of 
the  people  with  such  joy  that  they  burst  out  into 
song.  You  might  have  seen,  on  Sundays,  companions 
of  the  same  craft  walking  about  the  fields  and  woods, 
singing  psalms,  hjmms,  and  spiritual  songs ;  while  the 
young  women,  seated  in  the  gardens,  delighted  them- 
selves in  siugiug  together  all  kinds  of  holy  pieces. 
For  this  burst  of  holy  joy,  Marot  and  Beza  para- 
phrased the  psalms,  and  Goudimel  set  them  to  new 
music,  boldly  turning  them  into  chants,  part-songs, 

But  the  companions  of  a  craft  did  not  wait  for  the 
composers  any  more  than  they  did  for  the  ministers. 
It  was  enough  in  those  days  to  meet  to  sing.  They 
felt  as  the  children  of  Israel  after  they  had  escaped 
from  the  hands  of  Pharaoh.  They  sang  in  the  spirit 
of  Zacharias,  when  the  Holy  Ghost  opened  his  mouth 
and  he  prophesied.  These  poor  artisans  and  rustic 
maidens  prophesied,  and  we  to-day  witness  the  fulfil- 


But  what  long  years  of  sorrow  and  affliction  followed 
this  spring-time  of  joy !  yet  through  it  all  they  never 
forgot  the  sweet  savour  of  that  early  psalmody. 
'  Music/  said  Luther^  ^  is  the  best  consolation  of  the 
afflicted.  It  refreshes  the  heart  and  restores  its  peace.' 
So  it  was  with  the  early  martyrs,  who  constantly  went 
to  the  stake  singing.  Yes,  such  was  the  joy  of  heart 
in  those  days_,  that  a  chronicler  describes  the  young 
virgins  as  going  more  gaily  to  execution  than  they 
would  have  done  to  their  nuptials.  Such  was  the 
enthusiastic  strength  the  new  life  gave  them,  that  we 
read  of  a  peasant  who  met  some  prisoners  on  the  way 
to  execution,  and  asked  the  reason  of  their  sentence. 
He  was  told  they  were  heretics  ;  and  he  at  once  claimed 
a  place  by  their  side,  got  into  the  cart,  and  went  to  die 
with  his  brethren. 


The  Five  Scholars  of  Lausanne. 

To  overflow  with  joy  in  affliction,  to  make  the  prison, 
and  the  scaffold  jubilant  with  sougs  of  praise — what 
better  proof  can  we  have  that  the  kingdom  of  God  had 
come  nigh,  that  at  this  moment  France  was  entering 
into  a  new  life  ?  The  martyrs  of  the  primitive  Church 
could  not  have  triumphed  over  death  with  more  exult- 
ing faith  than  some  of  these  early  confessors  for  the 
cause  of  Reform  in  France.  Nothing  is  more  beautiful 
in  martyrology  than  the  story  of  the  five  scholars  of 
Lausanne,  burnt  at  Lyons  on  the  16th  of  May,  1553. 

Martial  Alba,  Pierre  Naviheres,  Bernard  Seguin, 
Charles  Favre,  Pierre  Escrivain, — these  were  the  names 
of  the  young  brothers  so  blessed  and  honoured  in 
their  exodus  from    this  world    of    sin    and  suffering. 



They  had  returned,  towards  the  end  of  April,  1552, 
into  France,  in  order  to  begin  their  work  as  ministers 
of  the  GospeL  Betrayed  and  denounced  ahiiost  as 
soon  as  they  entered  France,  they  were  arrested  at 
Lyons  and  thrown  into  prison.  Here  they  lay  for 
more  than  a  year,  notwithstandiDg  the  untiring  efforts 
of  sympathetic  friends.  In  these  dungeons — and  what 
dungeons  only  those  who  have  descended  into  such 
places  as  the  oubliettes  still  to  be  seen  under  the  pon- 
tifical palace  at  Avignon  can  form  any  idea — in  these 
dungeons  joy  lit  up  their  hearts,  to  think  that  the 
world  counted  them  accursed,  while  God  had  chosen 
them  to  maintain  the  cause  of  Jesus  Christ. 

But  nothing  we  can  say  will  equal  the  touching 
story  of  their  last  hours  as  told  by  the  chronicler. 

'  These  then  are  the  arms  with  which  these  holy 
persons  were  provided  to  maintain  their  last  combat, 
which  took  place  the  sixteenth  of  the  month  of  May 
(1553),  a  whole  year  having  rolled  away  since  they 
were  imprisoned.  The  sixteenth,  say  I,  brought  them 
deliverance,  and  was  the  blessed  day  for  which  the 
crown  of  immortality  was  prepared  for  them  by  the 
Lord  after  so  virtuous  a  fight.  About  nine  o^clock  in 
the  morning  of  the  said  day,  after  having  received 
sentence  of  death  in  the  court  of  Rouane — the  which, 
in  short,  was  to  be  led  to  the  place  of  the  Terreaux, 
and  there  burned  alive  until  their  whole  bodies  were 
consumed, — all  five  were  put  in  the  place  where  crimi- 
nals waited,  after  having  received  sentence,  until  the 
appointed  time,  between  one  and  two  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon.  These  five  martyrs  betook  themselves 
first  to  praying  to  God  with  great  ardour  and  vehe- 
mence of  spirit,  marvellous  to  those  who  beheld  them ; 
some  prostrating  themselves  on  the  ground,  others 
looking  upward ;  and  then  they  commenced  to  rejoice 
in  the  Lord  and  to  sing  psalms.     And  as  two  o'clock 


drew  nigb,  tliey  were  led  out  of  the  said  place  clothed 
in  their  grey  dresses  and  tied  with  corcls^  exhorting 
one  another  to  maintain  constancy,  since  the  end  of 
their  course  was  at  the  stake  close  at  hand_,  and  that 
the  victory  there  was  quite  certain. 

''Being  then  placed  on  a  cart,  they  commenced  to 
sing  the  9th  Psalm  :  ^^  I  will  give  thanks  unto  the  Lord 
with  my  whole  heart,"  etc.  However,  they  had  not 
time  to  finish  it,  so  much  were  they  taken  up  with 
invoking  God,  and  uttering  several  passages  of  Scrip- 
ture as  they  passed  along.  Among  others,  as  they 
passed  by  the  Place  of  the  Herberie,  at  the  end  of  the 
bridge  of  the  Saone,  one  of  them,  turning  to  the  vast 
crowd,  said  in  a  loud  voice,  "  The  God  of  peace,  who 
brought  again  from  the  dead  the  great  Shepherd  of 
the  sheep,  our  Lord,  according  to  Christ  by  the  blood 
of  the  eternal  covenant,  confirm  you  in  every  good 
work  to  do  His  will."  ^  Then  commencing  the 
Apostles'  Creed,  dividing  it  by  articles,  one  after  the 
other,  they  repeated  it  with  a  holy  harmony,  in  order 
to  show  that  they  had  together  one  accordant  faith  in 
all  and  through  all.  He  whose  turn  it  was  to  pro- 
nounce the  words,  ^'^  Who  was  conceived  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  born  of  the  Virgin  Mary,"  raised  his  voice,  in 
order  that  the  people  might  know  that  it  was  a  false 
calumny  which  their  enemies  had  spread  that  they 
had  denied  this  article,  and  spoken  ill  of  the  Virgin 
Mary.  To  the  sergeants  and  satellites  who  often 
troubled  them,  menacing  them  if  they  did  not  hold 
their  peace,  they  twice  answered,  '"'  Do  not  prevent 
us  in  the  short  time  we  have  to  live  from  praising  and 
invoking  our  God." 

'^Being  come  to  the  place  of  execution,  they  mounted 
with  joyful  heart  on  to  the  heap  of  wood  which  was 

^  Literal  translation  of  the  chronicle. 


round  about  the  stake.  The  two  youngest  among 
them  mounted  firsts  one  after  the  other^  and  the  exe- 
cutioner having  stripped  them  of  their  clothes,  bound 
them  to  the  stake.  The  last  who  ascended  was  Martial 
Alba,  the  oldest  of  the  five,  who  had  been  a  long  time 
on  his  knees  upon  the  wood  prayiug  to  the  Lord.  The 
executioner,  having  bound  the  others,  came  to  take 
him,  and  having  raised  him  by  the  armpits,  wished  to 
put  him  down  with  the  others;  but  he  earnestly  asked 
the  Lieutenant  Tignac  to  grant  him  a  favour.  The 
lieutenant  said  to  him,  "  What  wilt  thou  ?  ^^  He 
said  to  him,  "  That  I  might  kiss  my  brothers  before 
dying."  The  lieutenant  granted  him  his  request,  and 
then  the  said  Martial,  being  led  up  to  the  wood,  kissed 
and  was  kissed  in  turn  by  all  the  four  standing  there 
tied  and  bound,  saying  to  each  of  them,  "Adieu, 
adieu,  my  brother ! "  Then  the  other  four  there 
bound  kissed  each  other,  turning  round  their  heads 
and  saying  one  to  the  other  the  same  words,  "  Adieu, 
my  brother ! " 

'  This  done,  after  the  said  Martial  had  recommended 
his  said  brothers  to  God  before  coming  down  and 
being  bound,  he  also  kissed  the  executioner,  saying 
to  him  these  words,  "  My  friend,  do  not  forget  what 
I  have  said  to  thee.'^  Then,  after  being  tied  and 
bound  to  the  same  stake,  all  were  inclosed  with  a 
chain  which  went  round  about  the  stake.  An  attempt 
was  then  made  to  hasten  their  death  by  strangling 
them,  but  it  failed,  upon  which  the  bystanders  heard 
the  five  martyrs  continually  exhorting  one  another 
with  the  words,  "  Courage,  my  brothers,  courage  !  '^ 
which  were  the  last  words  heard  in  the  midst  of  the 
fire,  which  soon  consumed  the  bodies  of  the  aforesaid 
valiant  champions  and  true  martyrs  of  the  Lord.' 



The  Martyrs  and  the  Psalter. 

In  no  Church  lias  the  Psalter  ever  occupied  such  a 
place  as  it  did  for  three  centuries  in  that  of  the 
Huguenots.  In  the  degree  we  catch  the  spirit  of  the 
Psalms,  in  that  degree  we  enter  into  the  soul  of  the 
Huguenot  life  and  faith.  The  first  Huguenots  died  with 
some  words  from  the  Psalter  on  their  lips,  nearly 
always  singing  them,  as  was  their  wont  in  worship. 

Jean  Leclerc,  executed  at  Metz,  1524,  in  the  midst 
of  frightful  tortures,  continued  to  chant  these  verses  of 
Psalm  cxv  :  ^  Their  idols  are  silver  and  gold,  the  work 
of  men's  hands.'  Wolfgang  Schurch,  burnt  at  Nancy, 
1525,  died  singing  Psalm  li.  Aymon  de  la  Voye,  in 
quitting  his  prison  to  go  to  the  stake,  intoned  the 
hundred  and  fourteenth  psalm:  *When  Israel  went 
out  of  Egypt. ■*  Fifty-seven  Protestants  of  Metz  were 
put  in  prison,  from  whence  fourteen  were  led  to  execu- 
tion ;  their  brethren  sang  as  they  passed  Psalm  Ixxix. 
As  they  were  about  to  have  their  tongues  cut  out,  the 
cry  arose  •?■ 

'  Let  the  sighing  of  the  prisoner  come  before  Thee ; 
According  to  the  greatness  of  Thy  power  preserve  Thou  those 

that  are  appointed  to  death ; 
And  render  unto  our  neighbours  sevenfold  into  their  bosom 
Their  reproach,  wherewith  they  have  reproached  Thee,  O  Lord.' 

Nicholas,  martyred  at  Hainaut  in  1548,  answered  the 
Cordeliers,  who  overwhelmed  him  with  reproaches  on 
the  scaffold,  in  the  words  of  the  sixth  psalm  : 

'  Depart  from  me,  all  ye  workers  of  iniquity  ; 
For  the  Lord  liath  heard  the  voice  of  my  weeping. 
The  Lord  hath  heard  the  voice  of  my  supplication; 
The  Lord  will  receive  my  prayer.' 

^  Gagging  was  first  tried,  but  the  strings  burnt  in  the  flames-, 
and  the  martyrs  burst  into  song. 


Mace  Moureau^  burnt  at  Troyes,  1550^  chanted  a 
psalm  in  the  flames.  Many  more  similar  illustrations 
might  be  given,  but  for  a  complete  account  the  reader 
is  referred  to  Douen^s  great  work,  Clement  Marot  ct  h 
Pscviitier  Ilvcjuenot.  Five  3'OUDg  persons  condemned 
to  death  at  Lyons,  for  preaching  Reform,  sang  as  they 
went  to  the  scaffold  the  ninth  Psalm;  a  tremendous 
appeal  to  the  just  and  righteous  God,  who  forgetteth 
not  the  cry  of  the  poor,  but  maketh  inquisition  for 
blood,  an  appeal  full  of  triumphant  faith,  an  appeal 
which  has  been  most  assuredly  answered. 


New  Shepherds  and  a  New  Fold. 

In  1551  appeared  the  Edict  of  Chateaubriant,  by 
which,  persons  accused  of  heresy  were  rendered  amen- 
able both  to  the  secular  and  ecclesiastical  courts,  so 
that,  absolved  at  one  tribunal,  they  could  be  immedi- 
ately cited  before  the  other.  Intercession  was  for- 
bidden, sentences  were  executed  notwithstanding 
appeal,  suspected  persons  had  to  produce  certificates 
of  orthodoxy.  But  light  is  thrown  on  the  motives  of 
the  powerful  personages  of  the  day  by  the  provisions 
according  to  which  informers  were  to  receive  a  third 
part  of  the  property  of  the  condemned,  while  the 
entire  estates  of  those  who  fled  the  country  were  to 
be  confiscated  to  the  Crown.  Very  soon  this  courtier 
or  that  favourite  was  denouncing  the  man  whose 
property  ho  or  she  desired  to  have.  Sometimes  they 
ruined  a  whole  family,  or  got  possession  of  an  entire 
canton.  Thus  were  enlarged,  as  was  again  the  case 
at  the  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes,  the  domains 
of  families  then  in  process  of  being  made  ^  noble  and 


But  tliis  edict  was  not  enough  for  some  of  the 
cormorants.  The  Cardinal  of  LoiTaine_,  a  man  whose 
orthodoxy  could  stretch  to  any  pointy  was  willing  to 
join  Paul  IV.  and  the  Sorbonnists^  and  to  introduce 
the  Inquisition  into  France.  Happily,  the  French 
lawyers  retained  their  old  traditional  dislike  to  clerical 
despotism,  and  the  attempt  failed. 

However,  the  Protestants  had  the  possibility  of  the 
Inquisition  hanging  over  them,  as  well  as  of  the  machi- 
nations of  the  Jesuits,  who  by  some  change  in  public 
opinion  might  be  permitted  to  enter  France.  Organi- 
zation in  the  presence  of  such  danger  was  clearly 
necessary,  and  thus  they  were  almost  compelled  to 
turn  their  free  communion  into  a  well-drilled  org-ani- 

The  movement  commenced  in  Paris  in  1555.  M.  de 
la  Ferriere  having  received  some  Protestants  into  his 
house,  proposed  to  them  to  choose  a  pastor.  After 
many  objections  they  elected  not  only  a  pastor,  but 
elders  and  deacons.  Their  example  was  followed 
elsewhere,  each  city,  town,  or  commune  constituting 
a  Church  in  itself.  The  work  progressed  so  rapidly 
that  by  15G1  there  were  2,150  Churches  thus  organized 
in  France.  To  unite  the  Churches  into  one  general 
body,  a  national  synod  was  convoked  in  1559.  Eleven 
Churches  were  represented,  and  their  delegates  met  in 
Paris  from  the  26th  to  the  29th  of  May. 

They  adopted  a  Confession  of  Faith  prepared  by 
Calvin  and  his  disciple,  De  Ohandiou,  comj^osed  of 
forty  articles.  All  the  dogmas  generally  regarded  as 
fundamental  to  the  evangelical  creed  are  stated  in  this 
confession  with  luminous  precision.  Certain  doctrines 
seem  more  than  usually  accentuated.  Such,  for  ex- 
ample, as  the  entire  corruption  and  condemnation  of 
human  nature,  with  the  decree  of  sovereign  election. 
But  these  doctrines,  which  have  come  to  be  so  pecu- 


liarly  associated  witli  Calvin^  occupy  a  place  quite 
secondary  to  that  of  the  supremacy  of  the  Bible  as  the 
all-sufficient  rule  of  f\iith.  Articles  II.,  III.,  IV.,  and 
V.  are  devoted  to  the  exposition  of  this  doctrine.  It 
follows  the  declaration  of  the  existence  and  character 
of  God ;  the  second  article  affirming  that  He  reveals 
Himself  in  His  works,  but  still  more  clearly  in  His 
Word  contained  in  the  Holy  Scriptures ;  the  third 
states  the  limits  of  these  Scriptures ;  the  fourth  that 
they  are  known  to  be  the  Word  of  God,  not  so  much 
by  the  common  accord  and  consent  of  the  Church,  as 
by  the  testimony  and  inward  illumination  of  the  Holy 
Spirit;  the  fifth  asserts  that  the  word  contained  in 
the  Scriptures,  proceeds  from  God,  and  receives  its 
authority  from  Him  alone ;  that  it  is  the  rule  of  all 
truth,  contaiuing  all  that  is  necessary ;  that  it  is  not 
lawful  even  for  angels  to  add  to  it ;  nothing,  however 
sacred,  can  be  put  in  contradiction  to  it. 

This  elevation  of  the  Bible  to  a  position  exactly 
opposed  to  that  in  which  Catholicism  placed  the 
Church,  is  most  noteworthy.  The  same  opposition 
of  ideas  is  observable  in  other  points.  As  the  ordinary 
means  of  grace,  preaching  the  Word  almost  occupies 
in  Calvinism  the  place  of  the  sacraments  in  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  and  the  all-important  term,  the 
Catholic  Faith,  is  superseded  by  that  of  the  Reformed 
Religion,  or  The  Religion,  as  a  Huguenot  loved  to  say. 

Many  traces  may  be  found  in  this  confession  of 
antagonism  to  the  Anabaptist  views ;  in  fact,  their 
supposed  errors  are  referred  to  with  more  severity 
than  those  of  the  Papists.  This  is  not  surprising,  con- 
sidering that  the  chief  feature  presenting  itself  at  the 
moment  was  the  anarchical  tendency  of  their  views. 
It  had,  however,  a  deplorable  effect,  since  it  tended 
to  lessen  with  French  Calvinists  the  influence  of  the 
highest  standard  of  Christianity,  the  Sermon  on  the 

THE   1559    CONFESSION  OF  FAITH.  41 

Mount.  Its  immediate  effect  was  to  accentuate  in  the 
Calvinistic  polity  the  authority  of  the  ruler,  so  that  it 
would  be  difficult  to  place  it  higher.  '  God/  the  thirty- 
ninth  article  says,  ^  wishes  to  be  considered  the  Author 
of  every  form  of  human  government,  and  has  put  a 
sword  into  the  hand  o£  the  magistrate  to  repress,  not 
only  sins  against  the  second  table  of  the  command- 
ments of  God,  hut  also  against  the  first.^  '  Conse- 
quently,' the  fortieth  says,  '  all  their  laws  and  statutes 
must  be  obeyed,  the  yoke  of  subjection  endured  with 
goodwill,  even  if  they  are  unbelievers,  provided  the 
supreme  empire  of  God  remains  intact.'  The  con- 
fession concludes  :  ^  Thus  we  detest  those  who  wish  to 
cast  off  their  superiors,  to  introduce  community  and 
confusion  of  goods,  and  overturn  legal  order.' 

Various  articles  set  forth  the  discipline  to  be  ob- 
served. Wherever  a  sufficient  number  of  believers 
existed  a  Church  ought  to  be  formed,  a  consistory 
elected,  a  minister  called,  the  sacraments  regularly 
celebrated,  and  discipline  established.  The  consistory, 
once  elected,  filled  up  its  own  vacancies ;  the  pastor, 
elected  for  the  first  time,  was  on  subsequent  occasions 
to  be  named  by  the  provincial  synod  or  the  conference. 
The  consent  of  the  people,  however,  was  always  to  be 
regarded  as  necessary.  While  they  were  not  to  be 
asked  to  vote,  nothing  was  to  be  done  contrary  to  their 

When  difficulties  arose  the  matter  was  to  be  referred 
to  the  provincial  synod  or  the  conference.  A  conference 
was  formed  by  the  union  of  the  Churches  of  a  district, 
and  it  was  to  meet  at  least  twice  a  year.  Each  Church 
was  represented  by  its  pastor.  Above  the  conference 
was  the  provincial  synod,  composed  of  an  equal  num- 
ber of  ministers  and  laymen.  They  were  to  meet  at 
least  once  a  year,  and  all  that  was  beyond  the  power 
of  a  conference  was  to  be  referred  to  them.     Highest 


of  all  came  tlie  national  synod_,  which  was  to  form  a 
final  court  of  appeal,  and  was  to  take  cognisance  of  all 
affairs  of  national  importance.  It  was  composed  of 
two  pastors  and  two  elders,  delegated  by  each  of  the 
provincial  synods,  and  its  president  was  always  to  be 
a  pastor.  It  was  to  be  annually  convoked^  and  its 
deliberations  were  to  commence  by  the  reading  of  the 
Confession  of  Faith  and  the  Order  of  Discipline. 

The  constitution  which  Calvin  thus  gave  the  Re- 
formed Church  of  France  reveals  throughout  his 
luminous,  logical,  legislative  genius.  In  the  con- 
fession the  man  himself  is  peculiarly  seen  in  all  his 
convictions  and.  in  all  his  antipathies.  He  does  not 
even  forget  to  pillory  Servetus  by  name.  But  whether 
we  sympathise  with  its  statements  or  not,  we  cannot 
deny  its  grandeur,  still  less  its  immense  influence  and 
historic  importance.  Nothings  I  imagine,  except  the 
Psalter,  had  greater  influence  in  forming  the  Huguenot 

This  constitution,  as  regarded,  the  Church,  was 
founded,  on  the  equality  of  all  believers,  pastors,  or 
layinen_,  high  or  low.  Liberty  and.  authority  were 
both  maintained,  and  if  the  latter  predominated,  over 
the  former  it  was  a  necessity  of  the  times.  On  the 
principle  that  the  religious  institutions  of  a  nation 
mould  its  civil  ones,  we  have  here  the  first  step  in  the 
education  of  France  in  republican  forms  of  govern- 


The  Calvin istic  Constitution  at  Work. 

But  as  the  letter  of  a   new  constitution  cannot  afford 
an  idea  of  its  practical  working,  especially  at  first,  and 


among  a  people  formed  under  a  totally  different  system, 
a  brief  account  of  what  happened  in  the  early  days  of 
one  of  the  local  Churches  thus  formed  will  be  helpful. 

Nimes  is  a  city  which  from  the  earliest  times  until 
the  present  day  has  been  one  of  the  chief  centres  of 
the  Protestant  faith  in  France.  The  foundations  of 
the  Church  had  been  laid  by  such  preachers  as  the 
shoemaker  De  la  Vau,  and  the  Dominican  prior 
Deyron,  but  it  only  appears  to  have  been  organized  on 
the  arrival  of  a  pastor  from  Geneva,  Guillaume  Man  get, 
September,  1559.  His  first  preachings  took  place  iw. 
secret  at  night,  as  houses  used  as  conventicles  were 
liable  to  be  rased  and  demolished  ;  but  after  a  time 
they  grew  bolder,  and  in  1560  they  openly  held 
meetings  in  a  private  house,  assembling  there  every 
day,  and  on  the  13th  of  April  in  that  year  the  Church 
for  the  first  time  united  in  celebrating  the  Lord^s 
Supper.  On  the  20fcli  of  May  following,  they  had 
grown  so  strong  that  they  took  possession  of  the 
Church  of  Saint  Etienne-de-Capduel,  contiguous  to  the 
Maison-Carree.  When  the  Comte  de  Joyeuse,  who 
commanded  in  Langucdoc,  was  about  to  proceed 
against  those  concerned  in  the  seizure,  he  found  a 
majority  of  the  chief  people  in  the  law-court  of  Nimes 
were  sympathetic,  so  he  merely  contented  himself  with 
telling  the  magistrates  and  consuls  to  prevent  such 
enterprises  in  future.  However,  there  was  naturally 
great  excitement,  and  the  Comte  de  Yillais  entered 
the  city  with  a  number  of  soldiers  to  maintain  order, 
whereupon  the  chief  Protestants  fled. 

Following,  however,  the  fluctuation  of  the  general 
ebb  and  flow  of  the  Protestant  cause  all  over  France, 
they  soon  returned,  and  on  the  23rd  of  March,  1561, 
the  pastor  Mauget  formed  a  consistory,  composed  at 
first  of  the  pastor,  ten  elders  or  superintendents,  and 
three  deacons.     By  1567  there  Avero  four  pastors,  nine 


elders,  and  five  deacons,  besides  several  oflScers  specially 
appointed  to  certain  duties;  the  treasurers  of  the 
moneys  for  the  ministers  and  for  the  poor,  the  receiver 
of  legacies,  the  clerk  of  the  consistory,  the  monitor, 
who  went  about  giving  notices  of  meetings,  etc.,  and 
the  precentor. 

The  consistory  commenced  by  establishing  religious 
meetings  in  private  houses  in  each  quarter  of  the  city. 
There  were  nine  such  divisions  in  1567,  each  under 
the  superintendence  of  an  elder,  whose  duty  it  was  to 
conduct  a  service  of  prayer,  reading  the  Scriptures, 
and  catechising  those  who  were  proposing  to  take 
part  in  the  sacrament  of  the  Lord's  Supper.  On 
Sunday  these  local  associations  met  in  some  spacious 
building  to  hear  sermons  from  the  pastors — a  church 
when  they  could  get  it;  in  the  temple  which  in  1567 
they  were  permitted  to  build. 

The  consistory  divided  its  work  into  five  parts : 
assistance  to  the  poor,  receiving  abjurations,  passing 
censures,  receiving  back  to  the  peace  of  tlie  Church, 
and  divers  matters.  A  word  on  each  will  throw  light 
on  the  degree  of  organization  attained  at  this  early 
period  : 

1.  Assistance  to  the  poor  consisted  of  gifts  in  money, 
in  bread,  in  clothing,  in  remedies  for  the  sick,  in 
marriage  portions  to  girls  without  fortune,  in  premiums 
for  the  apprenticeship  of  poor  children,  in  liberalities 
towards  prisoners,  captives,  foreigners,  and  converts, 
who  were  no  doubt  ofcen  deprived  of  any  means  of 
living.  The  money  for  these  works  was  obtained  from 
the  voluntary  offerings  placed  every  Sunday  in  the 
basins  held  by  deacons  at  the  doors  of  the  temple, 
from  collections  made  from  house  to  house,  from 
letting  the  seats,  and  from  boxes  placed  in  the  trades- 
men's shops,  into  which  customers  dropped,  as  the 
riglii  of  the  poor,  a  sum  proportioned  to  the  price  of 


their   purcliases,  finally    from    legacies   made   to    the 

2.  Abjurations^  at  this  time  numerous  and  daily, 
consisted  in  a  declaration  that  the  proselyte  renounced 
'  the  mass  and  all  Papal  idolatry/  and  wished  to 
make  a  public  profession  of  the  Evangelic  Religion. 
The  section  of  the  consistory  appointed  to  this  work 
then  inquired  into  the  degree  of  their  belief  and  morality 
of  their  conduct,  and  if  satisfied,  the  proselyte  was 
solemnly  received  into  the  Church  on  Sunday  after 
Divine  service. 

0.  Censures.  The  consistory  constituted  itself  a 
court  of  morals.  Its  monitor  was  instructed  to 
summon  before  it  all  who  had  contracted  mixed 
marriages,  or  had  sent  their  children  to  Catholic 
schools  ;  all  guilty  of  scandalous  conduct — fornication, 
adultery,  swearing,  Sabbath-breaking,  quarrelling, 
duelling,  taking  part  in  dances,  comedies,  masquerades, 
frequenting  public-houses,  or  gambling,  or  neglecting 
to  attend  the  religious  meetings  or  the  Holy  Supper. 
Each  inquiry  was  carefully  conducted,  without  preci- 
pitation, but  without  delay.  Witnesses  for  and  against 
were  duly  examined,  the  public  then  had  to  withdraw, 
and  the  innocence  or  guilt  of  the  inculpated  party  was 
decided.  The  censures  consisted  of  suspension  from 
the  communion  without  being  publicly  named  from 
the  pulpit,  suspension  with  such  public  naming,  finally 

4.  Reception  into  the  peace  of  the  Church.  This 
took  place  on  repentance  \  but  in  grave  cases  a  public 
confession  was  exacted,  made  kneeling  on  the  ground 
behind  the  communion  table. 

5.  Diversmatters.  Visiting  families  to  heal  domestic 
troubles,  visiting  the  lukewarm,  visiting  prisons,  the 
college,  the  hospital.  This  department  extended 
itself  in  troublous  times  over  the  whole  civil  govern- 


ment  of  the  city,  even  to  the  extent  of  taking  measures 
for  its  defence,  electing  captains  for  each  quarter, 
raising  taxes  for  payment  of  the  troops.  In  a  word, 
the  police,  the  city  guard,  the  inspection  of  tlie  con- 
duct of  the  inhabitants,  all  the  chief  affairs  of  the  city, 
and  consequently  nearly  all  the  powers,  both  of  the 
municipal  as  well  as  the  royal  authorities,  gradually 
became  the  object  of  its  deliberations,  its  votes,  and  its 

The  consistory  was  wholly  renewed  every  year,  but 
by  a  marvellous  stroke  of  statesmanship  the  members 
going  out  continued  to  form  part  of  the  actual  govern- 
ing body,  under  the  title  of  the  old  consistory.  In 
the  election  of  pastors,  the  civic  authorities,  the  magis- 
trates, and  consuls  were  invited  to  unite  themselves  to 
the  consistory  old  and  new,  so  that  this  important 
matter  was  settled  by  all  the  notables  of  the  Church 
in  an  extraordinary  assembly  denominated  the  As- 
semblv  of  the  three  bodies.  Pastors  were  of  two  sorts, 
permanent  or  temporary  j  of  these  last  were  the  pro- 
fessors in  the  school  of  theology. 

There  were  three  services  on  Sunday  and  one  on 
Wednesday  morning,  during  which  the  shops  were 
closed,  no  carriages  or  carts  allowed  to  go  about,  and 
the  city  gates  padlocked.  During  the  remainder  of 
the  week  there  were  public  prayers  every  evening, 
and  catechising  on  Thursdays.  All  these  services  were 
taken  by  the  pastors  in  turn,  and  he  who  commenced 
on  Sunday  was  called  the  pastor  of  the  week.  The 
salaries  of  the  ministers  were  raised  by  a  certain  rate, 
levied  by  the  consuls  of  the  city  on  each  family,  and 
detailed  in  a  book  called  la  tariff e. 

This  condition  of  things  at  Nimes  could  only  have 
existed  in  its  entirety  at  such  times  as  the  Huguenots 
held  the  upper  hand  in  the  troubles  which  now  broke 
out  in  France.      In  the  rapid  fluctuation  of  events 


they  are  one  montli  lords  and  masters  of  the  city ;  and 
the  next  obliged  to  fly,  or  at  best  to  hold  their  meet- 
ings in  secret.  Thus  it  was  with  them  in  the  spring 
of  1561,  but  towards  Pentecost  they  got  more  bold, 
and  openly  celebrated  that  feast  in  a  garden  in  the 
suburbs  of  the  city.  The  tables  were  prepared  by  an 
elder,  and  two  communions  were  held  :  one  at  break 
of  day,  presided  over  by  the  Huguenot  pastor  Mauget ; 
the  second  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morniug,  at  which 
Martin,  a  barbe  of  the  Waldensian  Church,  officiated. 
He  was  a  native  of  the  Val  Luserne,  in  the  valleys  of 
Piedmont,  and  had  become  pastor  of  the  Waldensian 
Church  of  Meundol,  ruthlessly  destroyed  by  Francis  I., 
and  he  was  now  in  a  temporary  sense  one  of  the 
pastors  at  Nimes. 


Reform  and  ^  the  Gentlemen  op  France.' 

Among  the  higher  classes  the  Reformation  found  many 
earnest  adherents,  a  thing  in  no  way  surprising, 
as  the  vast  majority  in  all  classes  suffer  sadly  when 
might,  and  not  right,  reigns  supreme.  Three  women, 
Margaret  of  Navarre,  her  daughter,  Jeanne  d'Albret, 
mother  of  Henry  IV.,  and  Louise  de  Montmorenci,  a 
contemporary  of  Margaret  and  the  mother  of  the 
Colignys,  are  illustrious  examples.  The  sons  of 
Louise  de  Montmorenci  seem  to  have  been  given  to 
the  cause,  in  order  to  show  through  all  time  what  sort 
of  men  its  principles  could  make.  They  began  life 
loaded  with  the  wealth  and  honours  of  this  world. 
Odet  Coligny  was  a  cardinal  at  sixteen  ;  Gaspard  was 
colonel -general  in  the  French  army  and  an  admiral  of 
France  ;  Francois,  the  younger,  was  lord  of  Andelot, 
and,  like  his  brothers,  had  splendid  prospects.     Short 


of  tlie  throne^  there  was  no  position  at  which  they 
might  not  reasonably  aim.  Dandelot  was  the  first 
to  come  under  the  influence  of  the  Reformation, 
Gaspard  apparently  the  last.  Of  a  slower  and  deeper 
nature  than  his  brothers,  he  followed  them  first,  then 
finally  led  them  and  the  whole  Protestant  party. 

This  long  process  of  cautious  deliberation  followed 
by  bold,  sustained  action  is  characteristic  of  Coligny. 
In  civil  matters  it  was  long  before  he  took  the  head 
of  the  party  opposed  to  the  Guises.  Neither  he  nor 
his  brothers  appear  to  have  been  in  any  way  connected 
with  the  conspiracy  of  Amboise — a  political  attempt 
to  throw  off  the  tyranny  of  the  Guises,  in  which  many 
Protestant  gentlemen  were  concerned. 

But  it  was  chiefly  among  the  lower  noblesse,  the 
gentlemen  of  Frauce,  that  the  cause  of  Reform  made 
the  greatest  progress.  When  Charles  IX,  came  to 
the  throne,  nearly  the  whole  of  the  French  nobility 
had  deserted  Catholicism.  The  poorer  nobles  were 
in  a  most  uncomfortable  position.  They  were  a  caste 
as  distinctly  different  from  the  plebeians  around  them 
as  the  Brahmin  is  from  the  Sudra.  They  could  not 
enter  into  trade,  and  would  not  live  in  the  cities. 
They  sometimes  enlisted  as  private  soldiers  or  became 
leaders  of  bands  of  mercenaries.  For  others  whose 
ideas  were  more  healthy,  a  special  trade,  that  of  glass- 
making,  was  reserved,  and  in  the  course  of  this  history 
we  shall  more  than  once  find  some  illustrious  servants 
of  the  Lord  among  these  gentilhommes  verriers.  Under 
such  circumstances  the  poorer  French  nobility  were 
especial  sufferers  from  the  forces  which  work  in  society 
just  in  the  degree  it  is  most  completely  under  the 
iufluence  of  the  laws  of  nature.  They  found  those 
they  regarded  as  their  inferiors  rising  in  wealth,  while 
those  above  gradually  absorbed  their  ever-diminishing 
patrimonies.    Dissatisfied  with  their  lot,  they  welcomed 


anything  that  promised  a  change  in  the  order  of  things, 
and  to  them  a  Reformation  in  religion  could  not  help 
meaning  an  efforfc  towards  the  Reform  of  crying  social 
and  political  evils.  Some  were  attracted  by  purely 
religious  considerations,  but  the  majority,  it  cannot  bo 
doubted_,  attached  themselves  to  the  cause  of  Reform 
from  mixed  considerations,  in  which  a  hope  to  better 
their  own  condition  was  an  important  element. 

Their  spirit  is  well  illustrated  in  the  book  which 
Henry  the  Fourth  called  TUe  Soldiers'  Bible,  a  book 
whose  real  title,  Montluc's  Commentaries,  gives  no  idea 
of  the  entertainment  in  store  for  the  reader.  The 
Sieur  de  Montluc  was  one  of  those  poor  gentlemen 
who  by  hard  fighting  and  the  blindest  loyalty  passed 
through  every  grade  of  soldiering  until  he  obtained  the 
baton  of  a  Marshal  of  France.  At  threescore  and 
fifteen  he  sat  down  to  write  the  history  of  his  life, 
which  covers  all  the  first  period  of  the  Reformation  in 
France  ;  and  if  he  had  been  vigorous  with  his  sword^ 
he  was  even  more  so  with  his  pen. 

^  All  things,'  according  to  Montluc,  '  depend  on  the 
gentry,  so  that  if  a  man  could  not  get  their  love  he 
would  never  perform  anything  worth  speaking  of;  a 
remark  which  throws  a  flood  of  light  on  the  position 
they  took  with  reference  to  the  cause  which  they 
espoused,  and  to  the  rulers  against  whom  they  so  often 
rebelled.  They  dominated  over  the  first,  and  kept 
the  latter  in  a  perpetual  state  of  alarm. 

These  gentlemen  delighted  in  a  life  of  strife  and 
bloodshed;  they  scorned  to  live  in  towns,  where  they 
would  have  to  compete  with  the  burghers  for  the 
municipal  offices.  However,  to  judge  from  the  Sieur 
de  Montluc — and  he  is  without  doubt  a  typical  char- 
acter— they  were  sincerely  religious.  Montluc  affirms 
that  he  was  never  in  action  without  imploring  the 
Divine  assistance,  and  never  passed  a  day  of  his  life 



since  lie  arrived  at  tlie  ao-e  of  man  witbout  callini^: 
npon  the  name  of  God  and  asking  pardon  for  liis  sins. 
And  he  assures  us  that  many  times  in  the  sight  of  the 
enemy  ho  was  so  possessed  with  fear  that  he  felt  his 
heart  beat  and  his  liuibs  tremble  ;  but  no  sooner  had 
ho  made  his  prayer  to  God  than  he  felt  his  spirits  and 
his  heart  return. 

All  this  shows  the  soil  on  which  in  the  upper  rauks 
of  French  life  the  preaching  of  the  Reformers  fell; 
for  Montluc  himself  was^  and  continued  to  the  end_,  a 
stout  Catholic^  fiercely  struggling  against  the  Hugue- 
nots^ unable^  as  he  says^  to  ^  believe  the  Holy  Ghost 
is  among  a  people  who  rise  in  rebellion  against  their 
king.'  And  as  his  loyalty  was  only  just  a  little  more 
thorough  and  more  absolutely  unquestioning  than  that 
of  other  good  men  around  him^  we  give  his  doctrine 
on  the  subject^  that  we  may  better  estimate  the 
struggle  it  must  have  cost  a  man  so  intensely  loyal  as 
Coligny  to  take  up  arms. 

'■  Vi,  therefore,  you  would  have  God  to  bo  assisting 
you,  you  must  strip  yourself  of  ambition,  avarice, 
rancour,  and  be  full  of  the  love  and  loyalty  we  all  owe 
our  prince.  And  in  so  doing,  although  his  quarrel 
should  not  be  just,  God  will  not  for  all  that  withdraw 
His  assistance  from  you  :  for  it  is  not  for  us  to  ask  our 
prince  if  his  cause  bo  good  or  evil,  but  only  to  obey 

It  is  easy  to  imagine  the  horror  of  such  a  man  when 
he  heard  that  the  consuls  of  St.  Hazard,  being  remon- 
strated with  on  account  of  their  rebellious  proceedings^ 
and  told  that  the  king  would  be  highly  displeased  with 
them,  replied  :  ^  What  king  ?  We  are  the  kings.  As 
to  him  of  whom  you  speak  (it  was  Charles  IX.,  then 
a  boy),  we'll  give  him  a  whipping,  and  set  him  a  trade, 
to  teach  him  to  get  a  living  as  others  do.'  He  tells  us 
it  was  not  only  at  St.  Hazard  that  they  talked  at  this 



rate,  but  it  was  common  discourse  in  every  place.  So 
he  took  the  law  into  his  own  hands,  and  proceeded  to 
execute  summary  vengeance  against  all  the  rogues 
who  durst  thus  wag  their  wicked  tongues  against  the 
majesty  of  their  king  and  sovereign.  Accompanied 
by  two  haugmeu,  he  struck  off  heads,  hanged  on  trees, 
and  flogged  to  death  his  unhappy  prisoners.  And  he 
thought  if  every  one  had  been  as  fast  as  he  to  put  out 
the  fire,  it  would  not  have  consumed  all. 

Such  was  the  world  in  the  midst  of  which  these 
little  Reformed  Churches  came  into  beinof.  At  first 
you  hear  plaintive  voices  risiug  in  prayer  or  quavering 
forth  one  of  Gretier's  touching  melodies  :  the  scene 
an  old  kitchen,  the  time  midnight,  the  light  from  the 
blazing  log  upon  the  earth  showing  a  group  of  earnest, 
toilworn  men  and  women  who  have  met  to  praise  God 
and  tell  what  He  has  done  for  their  souls.  Then  as 
the  small  hours  of  the  night  are  coming  on,  the  doors 
are  slowly  unbarred,  the  little  company  separate  with 
many  words  of  fraternal  love  ;  each  takes  his  lantern  or 
trusts  to  the  kindly  light  of  the  stars,  and  they  all  are 
soon  dispersed  over  the  city. 

But  other  scenes  are  soon  enacted.  Learned  men, 
doctors  in  law  and  logic,  or  men  once  eminent  in 
ecclesiastical  rank,  are  holding  assemblies  in  castellated 
mansions  in  the  midst  of  noble  parks,  the  chatellain 
with  his  sword  at  his  side,  his  lady  with  her  farthin- 
gale and  ruff,  their  relatives  and  friends,  their  vassals 
and  retainers,  their  servants  and  their  serfs,  are  all 
collected  to  hear  an  earnest  exhortation  in  choice  and 
powerful  French,  to  sing  the  noble  psalms  of  Marot 
and  Beza,  and  to  hear  read  what  they  emphatically 
call  the  Word  of  God. 

But  amongst  high  and  low  in  the  conventicle  held 
in  the  seignorial  hall,  and  in  the  conventicle  held  in  the 
burgher^s  kitchen,  the  one  subject  that  touches  every 


heart,  that  awakens  the  most  passionate  feeling,  is  the 
account  narrated  by  an  eye-witness  of  the  martyrdom 
of  the  Lord^s  elect. 

As  the  isolated  executions,  the  murdering  of  one  or 
half  a  dozen  enlarges  into  massacres  where  a  whole 
congregation  is  put  to  the  sword,  the  spirit  of  furious 
wrath  can  no  longer  be  restrained.  These  gentlemen, 
accustomed  for  ages  to  vindicate  the  slightest  stain 
on  their  honour,  the  least  harm  done  to  one  of  the 
meanest  of  their  serfs,  by  the  summary  vengeance  of 
the  sword,  will  no  longer  endure  to  see  their  dearest, 
most  venerated  friends  thus  treated.  Everything 
combines  to  send  their  blood  up  to  boiling  heat ;  their 
new  faith  and  their  old  wrongs,  their  private  designs 
and  the  public  misery.  Nor  can  their  divines  restrain 
them,  who  teach  so  unhesitatingly  the  equal  impor- 
tance of  the  Old  and  New  Testament.  In  the  former 
they  find  abundant  support.  They  are  now  the  Israel 
of  God,  their  enemies  are  the  Gentiles,  who  are  ever 
warring  against  the  Lord  and  His  anointed.  They 
guard  their  swords,  they  put  their  morions  on  their 
liead,  and  they  sally  forth  to  sing  the  Huguenot 
Marseillaise,  the  grand  and  majestic  paraphrase  of  the 
sixty-eighth  Psalm  composed  by  Beza,  and  set  to  one  of 
the  most  lovely,  the  most  plaintive  of  melodies,  made 
by  an  old  composer  named  Matthew  Gretier.  Would 
you  recall  the  intensely  religious  spirit  in  which  these 
old  Huguenot  wars  were  undertaken,  play  over  the 
music  given  in  the  appendix.  Read  the  Psalm  in 
English  and  French,  and  imagine  its  power  intoned 
by  a  whole  army  of  warriors,  accompanied  by  the 
simple  music  of  the  day,  the  drum  and  the  flute.  So 
great  was  the  enthusiasm  its  appeals  and  its  prophetic 
denunciations  excited,  that  they  sang  it  on  their  knees, 
which,  one  day  observing,  the  Duke  of  Joyeuse, 
minion  to  Henry  III.,  and  commander  of  the  Catholic 


army,  cried.  ^  Look,  look,  tliey  kueel !  ^  ^  Yes,  my 
lord,'  said  some  old  warrior,  '  wliea  the  Hugaeuots 
kneel,  ifc  is  then  they  mean  to  fight/ 

But  our  narrative  has  not  arrived  at  this  time. 
As  yet  the  difference  between  the  Protestant  and 
Catholic  gentlemen  of  France  is  not  very  apparent. 
Nevertheless,  it  is  the  difference  between  law  and  jus- 
tice, of  which  the  honest  Catholic  and  the  sincere 
Huguenot  were  each  in  their  rough  way  respectively 
the  champions.  That  there  were  Huguenots  inclined 
to  defy  the  law  we  have  seen;  that  there  were 
Catholics  who  considered  it  a  cumbrous  and  useless 
impediment  we  have  also  seen.  The  Guise  tyranny 
affords  a  monstrous  example,  in  the  way  it  avenged 
the  conspiracy  of  Amboise.  The  conspirators  were 
mainly  Huguenot  gentlemen,  whose  object  was  to 
deliver  themselves  and  France  from  this  tyranny. 
They  were  unsuccessful,  and  those  who  had  engaged 
in  it  were  executed  without  even  the  least  form  of  law. 
The  square  in  Amboise  was  covered  with  gibbets, 
blood  ran  down  the  streets;  as  executioners  were  not 
to  be  had  in  sufficient  numbers,  the  prisoners  were 
tied  hands  and  feet  and  thrown  into  the  Loire.  The 
leading  men,  kept  for  the  delectation  of  the  court,  were 
executed  in  its  presence  :  the  queen-mother,  her  sons, 
her  maids  of  honour,  and  the  courtiers  coming  to  the 
windows  to  see  them  executed. 

What  the  sword  could  not  do  the  pen  accomplished. 
Frangois  Hotman,  who  had  been  converted  by  behold- 
ing the  constancy  of  the  raartyrs,  wrote  an  awful 
pamphlet,  published  in  1560,  in  which  he  stigmatised 
the  cardinal  as  the  Tiger  of  France.  '  Each  line,'  says 
Henri  Martin,  '  of  the  bitter  eloquence  of  the  Calvin- 
istic  Nemesis  seems  traced  with  the  point  of  the  sword 
and  the  blood  of  martyrs.' 

Agrippa   d'Aubigne,  passing  with   his    father  that 


same  year  tlirongli  Amboise^  saw  the  Leads  of  tlie 
victims  still  on  the  gibbets.  It  was  fair-clay,  and  there 
were  seven  or  eight  thousand  people  in  the  streets,, 
nevertheless  the  old  man  could  not  restrain  himself 
from  crying  out,  ^  The  butchers  !  they  have  decapitated 
France  ! ''  As  the  lad  looked  up,  wondering  at  his 
father^s  emotion,  the  latter  said,  '^  My  child,  after 
mine,  thy  head  must  not  be  spared  to  avenge  these 
leaders  full  of  honour.  If  thou  sparest  it,  thou  shalt 
have  my  curse  !  ^ 


Science  and  Art  among  the  early  Huguenots. 

Among  the  Huguenot  psalters  I  have  examined  was 
one  of  1556,  a  tiny  pocket  edition,  giving  not  only 
the  music  to  each  psalm,  but  all  the  Huguenot  formu- 
laries of  prayer,  the  whole  printed  in  the  very  smallest 
type.  On  the  frontispiece  is  a  woodcut — a  hand 
coming  out  of  a  cloud  holds  a  pen  crowned  with  a 
laurel  wreath — appropriate  emblem  of  a  revolution 
which  owed  so  much  to  the  pen. 

^  One  of  the  advantages  of  the  Eeformation,'  says  a 
Catholic  writer,  ''  was  to  have  for  its  interpreters  the 
greater  part  of  the  learned  men  of  the  day.^  As 
early  as  the  reign  of  Francis  I.,  Guillaume  Bude,  a 
learned  man  who  stimulated  that  monarch  to  found 
the  College  Royal,  gave  strong  presumptive  evidence 
that  he  was  in  sympathy  with  the  anti-ritualistic  move- 
ment, for  he  left  orders  in  his  will  that  his  body 
should  be  buried  at  night,  by  the  light  of  a  torch  or 
two,  without  any  public  ceremonies;  and  the  proba- 
bility is  confirmed  by  the  fact  that  his  wife  was  one 
of  the  ^  evangelicals,^  and  three  of  his  sons  figure 
among   the   Reformed.      In   a   short   space   of    time 


the  leaven  liad  so  spread  among  the   learned  that   a 
majority  of  the  professors  in  the  University  of  France 
were   suspected  of  heresy.     Such  was  the  case  with 
Vatable,    professor   of  Hebrew,    who    translated    the 
psalms  for  Clement  Marot,  and  Mercier,  his  disciple, 
who     was    even     more    decidedly   Protestant ;    with 
Toursal,  the   Hellenist,    and   Postal,    the   Orientalist, 
with  Montaure,  a    clever   mathematician,  and  others, 
not  forgetting  Tournebe,  the  most  learned  of  them  all. 
Of  those  who  served  the  learned  we  find  the  printer 
Wechel   and    the   publishers    Estienne   had    leanings 
towards  Reform  ;  while  among  those  who  patronised 
them,    the    Cardinal  of    Chatillon  and  the  Bishop  of 
Valence  might  be  counted  as  sympathetic.     But  the 
most  important  adhesion  in  the  way  of  learning  to  the 
cause  of  Reform  was  that  of  Pierre  de  Ramee,  one  of 
those  powerful  intellects  which  rise  in  stirring  times 
from   the  very  bottom   to  the   highest  rung  on   the 
social  ladder.     Pierre   de   Ramee  was   the  son  of   a 
labouring  man,  his  grandfather  having  been  a  char- 
coal burner.     A  little  boy,  he  twice  trudged  to  Paris 
to  get  an  education,  but  was  driven  back  by  want  of 
food.     His  uncle,  a  carpenter,  took  pity  on  him,  and 
he  became  servant  to  a  student,    studying  at   night, 
until  he  began  to  suflfer  from  ophthalmia. 

But  he  made  his  way  through  all  the  learned  cob- 
webs and  all  the  educational  briars  of  his  time,  not, 
however,  without  becoming  bitterly  contemptuous  of  the 
mediaeval  methods  of  instruction,  and  an  opponent  of 
Aristotle.  Against  that  ^  adored  ^  philosopher  Ramee 
maintained  a  life-long  war.  In  his  Master  of  Arts 
Thesis,  he  undertook  to  prove  that  all  Aristotle  had  ever 
said  was  false.  He  was  applauded  at  the  time  as  an 
ingenious  dialectician,  but  when  the  learned  found  he 
was  in  earnest,  the  Aristotelians  became  furious  and 
implacable.      Even  Beza  could   not  forgive   him  for 


his  opposition  to  Aristotle.  He  was  driven  away  for 
a  time  from  the  University,  but  came  back  under 
the  a3gis  of  the  Cardinal  of  Lorraine.  Among  the 
many  benefits  which  that  powerful  prelate  had  con- 
ferred on  him,  he  declared  the  chief  was  his  conversion 
to  the  cause  of  Eeform,  into  which  when  once  he  clearly 
saw  his  way  Ramee  threw  himself  with  characteristic 
intensity.  He  designed  to  reform  all  the  liberal  arts  : 
grammar,  rhetoric,  mathematics,  as  well  as  the  pro- 
nunciation of  Latin.  With  martyrs  all  around  him, 
he  could  not  but  foresee  the  end  ;  but  the  spirit  in 
which  he  worked  may  be  judged  from  the  following 
words  uttered  in  1563  :  ^I  am  glad  to  think,  if  I  have 
been  beaten  by  so  many  tempests,  if  I  have  passed 
over  so  many  rocks,  that  my  misfortunes  will,  at  least, 
be  useful  in  rendering  the  route  to  you  more  easy 
and  more  secure.' 

Such  was  the  spirit  of  enlightened  Reform.  It 
looked  with  peculiar  interest  on  the  next  generation. 
The  State  in  those  days,  and  up  to  the  time  of  the 
Revolution,  made  no  provision  for  the  general  education 
of  the  people.  This  was  entirely  in  the  charge  of  the 
Church;  it  was  therefore  j^art  of  a  pastor's  business 
to  teach  the  young,  and  a  catechism  was  very  early 
prepared  for  the  purpose.  However,  the  schoolmaster 
soon  appears,  and  occupies  an  honoured  position  in  the 
Church.  'The  school,'  says  Michelet,  'is  the  first  word 
of  the  Reformation  and  the  grandest.  It  writes  at  the 
head  of  its  revolution  :  Universal  instruction,  schools 
for  boys  and  girls,  free  schools,  where  all  are  seated 
together,  rich  and  poor.' 

The  Catholic  writer  who  notes  how  the  learned 
supported  the  cause  of  Reform,  remarks  also  that  it 
had  the  privilege  and  monopoly  of  talent.  Jean 
Goujon,  the  earliest  and  one  of  the  greatest  of  French 
sculptors,   Claude    Goudimel,    the    musician,    and   the 


illustrious  Bernard  Palissy,  were  all  Huguenots.  Nor 
must  we  forget  Clement  Marot^  wlio  did  for  the  Reform 
one  of  the  very  greatest  services  possible,  by  putting  into 
verse  the  psalms  of  David.  On  their  first  appearance 
they  were  all  the  vogue,  the  very  courtiers  sang  them. 
If  in  Marot  the  Reformation  may  claim  to  have  struck 
one  of  the  earliest  and  best  notes  in  the  French  lyre, 
in  Du  Bartas  it  gave  Prance  its  first  poet  in  the  heroic 
style.  Poetry  and  Reform  are  twin  brothers.  He 
who  aspires  to  better  the  world  is  already  a  poet. 


Catherine  de  Medici. 

The  death  of  Francis  II.,  in  15G0,  seemed  a  dawn  of 
hope.  Power  passed  from  the  Guises  into  the  hands 
of  Catherine  de  Medici.  She  chose  for  her  minister 
Michel  niospital,  and  made  him  chancellor.  He 
proved  a  man  of  astonishing  virtue,  thoroughly  honest, 
loyal  to  the  true  interests  of  the  king  and  the  country, 
and  a  friend  and  protector  of  the  Reformed  Churches. 

The  royal  treasury  was  in  debt  to  no  less  an  amount 
than  45,500,000  livres,  equal  to  140  or  145  millions  of 
francs,  and  at  the  value  of  money  now-a- days  probably 
equal  to  400  millions.  In  order  to  meet  this  great 
deficit,  he  advised  the  queen-mother  to  convoke  the 
States -General.  Their  meeting  brought  out  in  clear 
rehef  the  desire  of  the  country  for  a  thorough  reforma- 
tion, civil  and  religious. 

The  orators  of  the  nobility  and  of  the  third  estate 
attacked  the  clergy.  The  first  wished  that  the  debts 
of  the  State  should  be  paid  at  the  expense  of  the 
ecclesiastical  order,  and  that  the  clergy  should  be 
deprived  of  all  civil  and  feudal  jurisdiction.  The 
orators  of  the  third  estate  declared  that  the  Church 


could  never  return  to  its  priuiitive  sincerity  until  the 
priests  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest  had  amended 
their  three  principal  vices_,  ignorance^  avarice^  and 
superfluous  pomp. 

This  was  no  temporary  burst  of  indignation.  For 
seventy-seven  years  prior  to  the  calling  of  this  States- 
General_,  that  is  from  1484  to  1561^  the  third  estate 
had  again  and  again  demanded  a  long  list  of  reforms 
in  the  Church. 

The  day  upon  which  the  States- General  closed^  the 
31st  of  January,  1561,  L^Hospital  signed  an  ordinance 
which  decreed  in  the  name  of  the  king  the  greater  part 
of  the  reforms  desired  by  the  nation.  The  edict  was 
registered  at  Orleans,  whence  its  name,  and  not,  as 
usual,  in  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  because  the  chancellor 
knew  that  its  provisions  had  many  violent  enemies 
among  the  chats  foiirres,  as  Pabelais  called  the  gentle- 
men of  the  furred  robes  at  the  Palais  de  Justice. 

At  this  auspicious  moment,  the  selfish  ambition  of 
the  Bourbon  princes,  who  were  regarded  as  the  leaders 
of  the  cause  of  Reform,  nearly  spoilt  all.  The  King  of 
Navarre,  the  unworthy  husband  of  Jeanne  d''Albret, 
wanted  to  be  regent.  However,  he  was  soon  overcome 
by  one  of  Catherine's  Delilahs,  and  so  reduced  to 

While  Navarre  had  been  recalcitrant,  Catherine  had 
souofht  to  arouse  the  Constable  Montmorenci  asrainst 
the  Calvinists,  by  telling  him  that  they  were  proposing 
to  inquire  into  the  gifts  and  largesses  obtained  from 
the  late  kings,  and  that  they  even  spoke  of  compel- 
ling restitution.  The  provincial  estates  of  the  Ile- 
de-France,  who  wanted  to  make  the  King  of  Navarre 
lieutenant-general  of  France,  and  the  real  head  of 
the  government,  demanded  an  inquest  into  the  public 
thefts,  and  in  this  demand  they  were  encouraged  by 

PLOT  A  GAINS  T  GENE  VA .  59 

This  intimation  led  Montmorenci^  who  was  uncle 
to  the  Coh"gnySj  henceforth  to  range  himself  on  the 
side  opposed  to  Eeform.  He  was  seen  going  to  mass 
at  the  same  chapel  as  the  Dtike  of  Guise,  and  on 
Easter  Day  they  took  the  communion  together.  The 
pair  now  joined  themselves  to  Saint- Andre,  and 
the  Triumvirate,  as  they  were  called,  determined  on 
a  plan  for  exterminating  the  Calvinists.  The  chief 
action  was  to  centre  in  France,  where  every  sectarian 
w^as  to  perish,  but  its  head  and  natural  director 
was  to  be  Philip  of  Spain,  under  whom  a  grand 
alliance  of  Catholic  Europe  was  to  be  formed.  The 
German  Catholics  were  to  prevent  the  German  Luther- 
ans from  going  to  help  the  French  Huguenots;  the 
Swiss  Catholics  were  to  rise  against  the  Swiss  Protes- 
tants ;  and  the  Duke  of  Savoy  was  to  fall  on  the 
centre  of  heresy,  the  accursed  city  of  Geneva,  and 
destroy  all  its  people  without  distinction  of  age  or  sex. 
For  funds  they  looked  to  the  pope,  to  the  revenues  of 
the  Church,  and  confiscation  of  the  property  of  the 

While  this  dark  project  was  fermenting  in  the  minds 
of  the  three  conspirators,  la  imuvre  commune,  as  the 
Catholic  mob  of  Paris  was  tenderly  called  by  the 
Parliament,  became  perceptibly  agitated.  Led  by  the 
black-robed  bands  of  the  University,  they  attacked  an 
hotel  where  the  Calvinists  were  in  the  habit  of  meet- 
ing, broke  the  windows,  forced  the  door,  and  killed 
the  porter.  A  general  massacre  would  have  ensued, 
had  not  the  mob  caught  sight  of  more  drawn  swords 
than  they  bargained  for.  L'Hospital  tried  to  stop 
these  outrages  by  threatening  to  hang  everybody 
who  used  the  injurious  words.  Papists,  Huguenots,  or 
who  attacked  houses  under  pretext  of  breaking  up 
illicit  assemblies.  The  same  edict  also  renewed  the 
order  to  set  all  persons  free  arrested  on  account  of 


religion,  while  those  who  had  fled  the  kingdom  were 
invited  to  return. 

The  Parliament  of  Paris  refused  to  allow  this  edict 
to  be  published  in  the  capital.  The  chancellor  replied 
by  a  request  to  the  bishops  to  render  a  full  account 
of  the  ecclesiastical  property  in  each  diocese,  upon 
which  the  clergy,  who  in  the  States- General  had 
protested  against  every  design  tending  to  attack  their 
possessions,  now  turned  for  protection  to  the  house  of 

The  Cardinal  of  Lorraine  had  learnt  the  art  of 
managing  women  as  a  courtier  of  Diana  of  Poitiers ;  he 
now  showed  what  he  could  do  even  with  an  enemy, 
succeeding  to  such  a  degree  with  the  queen-mother, 
that  L^Hospital  had  to  consent  to  a  united  sitting  of 
the  Council  and  the  Parliament,  with  a  view  to  deter- 
mining the  nature  of  the  legislation  with  regard  to  the 
Reformed.  After  a  debate  of  three  weeks,  the  friends 
of  justice  were  defeated  by  a  majority  of  three,  and 
it  was  resolved  that  whosoever  took  part  in  heretical 
conventicles  should  incur  pain  of  death,  simple  heresy 
to  be  punished  with  banishment.  While  Guise  de- 
clared that  he  would  sustain  this  edict  with  his  sword, 
and  Coligny  that  it  could  never  be  executed,  the 
chancellor  set  himself  to  soften  all  its  provisions,  and 
to  render  it  difficult  to  work,  by  introducing  as  many 
leofal  checks  as  he  could  devise. 



The  Confeeence  at  Poissy. 

This  apparent  defeat  in  the  direction  of  Heformation 
and  the  pacification  of  the  country  did  not  deter 
Catherine  and  her  chancellor  from  proceeding  to  carry 
out  the  scheme  proposed  by  Dubourg  in  the  Parlia- 


inenfc  of  Paris :  a  national  synod  for  agreement  on 
religious  reform.  However^  they  did  not  dare  to  call 
it  more  than  a  colloquy,  or  conference.  The  feelino- 
throughout  the  country  was  so  strongly  in  favour  of 
Eeform,  that,  notwithstanding  their  late  victory,  the 
Guises  had  to  submit.  The  cardinal  hoped,  by  inviting 
a  number  of  doctors  of  the  Augsburg  Confession,  to 
create  a  dispute  on  the  doctrine  of  the  Real  Presence, 
and  thus  make  vividly  manifest  the  sectarian  spirit  of 
the  Reformation. 

On  the  other  hand,  L^Hospital  and  the  queen- 
mother  were  bent  on  obtainino'  some  arranofement 
with  the  Huguenots,  which  they  could  force  on  the 
pope  and  the  Council  of  Trent,  which,  though  twice 
interrupted,  was  on  the  eve  of  being  opened  for  the 
third  time. 

The  least  that  Catherine  expected  the  dissidents  to 
demand  is  shown  in  the  letter  which  she  wrote  to  pre- 
pare the  mind  of  the  pope  for  the  negotiation.  Re- 
moval of  images  from  the  altars  and  the  sanctuary, 
simplification  of  the  rites  of  baptism,  the  communion 
in  both  kinds,  abolition  of  private  masses,  suppression 
of  the  j'ete  of  the  Holy  Sacrament,  and  the  chanting 
of  the  psalms  in  the  vulgar  tongue;  such  were  the 
reforms  Catholic  monarchs  could  propose  and  popes 
consider  in  the  sixteenth  century. 

The  conference  opened  at  Poissy,  the  9fch  of  Sep- 
tember, 1561.  Theodore  de  Beza,  Peter  Martyr,  and 
eleven  other  Calvinist  divines,  together  with  twenty- 
two  lay  deputies,  representing  the  Protestant  Re- 

Born  in  1519,  Beza  was  just  in  the  flower  of  his 
fame.  The  chosen  disciple  of  Calvin,  he  had  lately 
succeeded  to  his  master's  position  in  Geneva,  the  great 
Reformer's  departure  being  at  hand.  He  came  there- 
fore to  Poissy  with  all  the  authority  of  the  recognised 


Lead  of  tlie  Calvinistic  religion.  Aud^  certainly,  the 
colloquy  at  Poissy  did  not  fail  from  want  of  tact  on 
the  part  of  Beza,  for  he  had  all  the  qualities  of  the 
best  order  of  diplomatists.  Intelligent^  firm,  even 
severe,  his  handsome  visage,  agreeable  manners,  and 
ready  eloquence,  softened  off  the  hard  points  of  Cal- 
vinism. Sincere,  and  witliout  the  least  suspicion  of 
originality,  he  won  the  confidence  of  friends  and  foes. 

The  Protestants  asked  for  such  arrangements  as 
would  have  made  the  conference  a  reality :  that  it 
should  be  presided  over  by  the  king  and  the  great 
officers  of  state,  that  they  should  debate  on  equal 
terms  with  the  bishops,  and  not  as  criminals  before 
judges,  that  all  difi'erences  should  be  decided  by  the 
Word  of  God  alone,  that  secretaries  should  be  ap- 
pointed on  both  sides  in  equal  numbers  to  draw  up 
the  account,  which  should  be  agreed  to  mutually. 

Bnt  Catherine  begged  them  to  be  content  with  her 
royal  word,  and  as  far  as  she  was  able  she  was  true 
to  all  that  she  had  promised,  for  no  one,  except 
L' Hospital,  was  more  desirous  for  the  success  of  the 

She  brought  the  young  king,  then  only  eleven  years 
of  age,  to  the  conference,  and  he  opened  the  proceed- 
ings by  a  speech,  in  which  he  exhorted  those  who  took 
part  in  the  proceedings  to  lay  aside  all  passion,  and  to 
discuss  simply  for  the  honour  of  Grod,  the  discharge  of 
their  conscience,  and  the  re-establishment  of  the  peace 
of  the  realm. 

Then  the  chancellor  spoke,  urging-  that  there  was  no 
need  for  consulting  books,  the  point  was  to  under- 
stand the  Word  of  Grod  and  conform  to  that.  Instead 
of  regarding  the  Reformed  as  enemies,  they  should 
remember  that  they  were  as  much  baptized  Christians 
as  themselves,  and  receive  them  as  fathers  did  their 
children.    Tbe  Cardinal  of  Tournon  asked  for  a  copy  of 


the  chancellor's  speech,  that  he  might  consider  it  with 
his  brethren;  it  contained,  he  said,  important  points 
not  mentioned  in  the  letters  of  convocation. 

The  bishops  also  took  care  to  declare  that  they  did 
not  understand  that  they  were  holding  a  national 
council,  but  had  only  met  to  reform  abuses  under  the 
good  pleasure  of  the  pope. 

Theodore  do  Beza  and  his  little  company  were  then 
introduced  by  the  Duke  of  Guise.  They  tried  to  pass 
beyond  the  bar  which  separated  them  from  the  pre- 
lates, but  were  refused,  and  kept  standing  throughout 
the  debate  like  so  many  criminals  on  their  trial.  But 
Beza,  as  if  to  compel  that  recognition  of  equality  be- 
fore God  which  was  denied  them  before  men,  knelt 
down  with  all  the  pastors,  and  making  a  solemn  con- 
fession of  the  sins  of  the  people  of  France,  implored 
a  blessing  on  the  assembly.  He  was  listened  to  with 
mingled  astonishment  and  emotion.^ 

As  the  colloquy  had  been  arranged  to  go  wrong  on 
the  question  of  the  Real  Presence,  it  proceeded  like 
a  machine  that  had  been  tampered  with.  As  long  as 
Beza  spoke  of  other  questions  he  was  patiently  listened 
to,  but  when  he  stated  his  doctrine  of  the  Lord's 
Supper  a  murmur  ran  along  the  episcopal  benches, 
and  cries  of  hiaspliemavit  v/ere  raised.  In  an  after- 
meeting  held  by  the  bishops  the  Cardinal  of  Lorraine 
professed  himself  shocked.  ^  Would  to  God,^  he  said, 
'  that  either  Beza  had  not  spoken,  or  that  wo  had  been 
deaf  ! '  It  was  determined  that  one  of  the  most  learned 
doctors,  probably  some  Sorbonne  professor — for  this 
body  were  particularly  infuriated  against  the  Protes- 

1  The  Confession  of  Faith  adopted  by  the  Eeformed  Church 
of  France  (see  p.  30)  was  presented  to  Charles  IX.  at  Poissy, 
by  Beza.  Schaff' s  Creeds  of  the  Evangelical  rrofestant  Church, 
vol.  ii.  p.  357. 


tauts — should  draw  np  an  answer  wlncli  the  Cardinal 
of  Lorraine  would  pronounce. 

The  speech  was  delivered  a  week  afterwards,  and 
Beza  wished  to  reply  on  the  spot,  but  the  bishops 
refused  to  allow  him.  The  Cardinal  de  Tournon  prayed 
the  king  to  drive  out  of  the  kingdom  every  one  who 
would  not  sign  what  the  Cardinal  of  Lorraine  had  said. 
^  The  assembly  of  prelates/  he  urged,  ^  begs  this  very 
humbly,  in  order  that  in  this  very  Christian  kingdom 
there  may  be  but  one  faith,  one  law,  and  one  king.^ 

The  Cardinal  of  Lorraine  knew,  however,  that  all 
the  success  of  the  colloquy  lay  with  the  Protestants, 
and  that  unless  some  stigma  could  be  attached  to  their 
representatives,  the  friends  of  the  Religion  would  be 
greatly  emboldened.  He  could  not  produce  his  Augs- 
burg divines,  for  one  of  them  had  fallen  ill  of  the 
plague  on  the  road ;  but  suddenly  taking  a  paper  from 
his  breast  he  read  three  or  four  of  the  principal  articles 
of  the  Lutheran  confession,  and  asked  if  the  Calvinist 
ministers  would  sign  them.  Beza  parried  this  palpable 
trap  by  remarking  that  they  would  first  of  all  like  to 
know  if  the  cardinal  and  his  fellow  prelates,  repudiating 
the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation,  were  prepared  to 
set  them  the  example.  Lorraine,  nettled  at  Beza's 
audacity,  cried,  '  We  are  not  equal ;  I  am  called  upon 
to  subscribe  to  no  confession,  neither  to  this  nor  to 
yours.'  '  Then,'  replied  Beza,  with  a  nalvcto  that  was 
absolutely  unanswerable,  '  if  you  do  not  wish  to  sub- 
scribe to  it  yourself,  it  is  not  just  to  ask  us  to  do  so.' 

However,  L'Hospital  and  the  queen-mother,  not- 
withstanding so  many  apparent  difficulties,  persevered. 
They  knew  the  heart  and  the  intellect  of  France  were 
with  them.  So  now  they  would  not  let  Beza  go  until 
an  effort  had  been  made  to  produce  a  common  formu- 
lary which  all  moderate  men  could  adopt.  A  com- 
mittee was  accordingly  appointed^  including  on  the  one 


side  Beza^  Peter  Martyr^  aud  three  Protestant  pastors, 
and  on  the  other  the  Bishops  of  Yalence  and  Seez,  and 
three  Catholic  doctors.  In  the  common  confession  of 
faith  these  ten  theologians  prepared  it  was  declared 
that : 

'^  Jesus  Christy  in  His  Holy  Supper,  truly  presents 
and  exhibits  to  us  the  substance  of  His  body  and  of 
His  blood  by  the  operation  of  His  Holy  Spirit,  and 
that  we  receive,  and  eat  sacramentally,  spiritually,  and 
by  faith  this  same  body  which  is  dead  for  us/ 

The  queen  and  L^Hospital  appeared  to  have  been 
full  of  hope  from  this  agreement  of  the  rival  theolo- 
gians, aud  Beza  is  said  to  have  been  under  the  impres- 
sion that  the  Cardinal  of  Lorraine  fully  approved  this 
confession.  But  when  it  was  read  before  the  assembly 
at  Poissy  on  the  4tli  of  October,  the  majority  of  prelates 
and  doctors  declared  it  insufficient,  captious,  and  full 
of  heresy.  They  prepared  another,  in  which  they 
declared  that  the  body  of  Jesus  Christ  was  received  in 
the  Eucharist  really  and  substantially,  and  they  prayed 
the  king  to  compel  Beza  and  his  adherents  to  subscribe 
to  this  or  quit  the  kingdom. 

Thus  the  colloquy  of  Poissy  was  shipwrecked ;  and 
the  best  and  only  opportunity  that  the  Gallican  Church 
had  to  make  terms  with  its  most  earnest,  most  believ- 
iug  people  passed  away.  However,  the  effort  was  not 
without  its  fruits.  There  was  a  great  increase  among 
the  adherents  to  Protestantism,  one  of  whom  was,  as 
has  been  said,  the  celebrated  philosopher,  Pierre  de 
Eamee,  or  Eamus. 

His  decision  w^as  brought  about,  not  by  the  argu- 
ments of  Beza,  but  by  the  reply  of  the  Cardinal  of 
Lorraine,  in  which  that  wily  speaker,  while  gracefully 
acknowledging  the  abuses  of  the  Church  and  the  vices 
of  the  clergy,  and  confessing  the  extreme  superiority 
of  the  primitive  Church  over  the  Roman  Church,  con- 



eluded,  however,  tliat  after  all  a  man  ouglit  to  remain 
attached  to  the  latter.  The  clear  and  logical  mind  of 
Hamus  would  not  allow  him  to  be  satisfied  with  a 
conclusion  so  directly  opposed  to  the  scope  of  the 
argument,  and  he  wrote  to  his  benefactor  to  say  that 
since  he  had  shown  him  that  of  all  the  fifteen  centuries 
since  Christ,  the  first  was  the  golden  age,  while  all 
that  followed  had  grown  more  and  more  vicious  and 
corrupt,  he  had  determined  to  attach  himself  to  the 
age  of  gold,  and  reject  all  the  rest. 

On  the  17th  of  January,  1562,  an  edict  was  published 
giving  the  Protestants  the  free  exercise  of  their  re- 
ligion. At  the  College  of  Prasles,  over  which  Ramus 
presided,  and  where  he  had  no  doubt  commented  on 
the  scandalous  way  in  which  part  of  the  second  com- 
mandment was  suppressed,  the  students  made  an  icono- 
clastic raid  on  the  chapel,  and  broke  all  the  statues  of 
the  saints. 

If  violence  and  iconoclasm  broke  out  in  Paris  under 
the  influence  of  this  breakdown  of  the  attempt  to  bring 
about  a  moderate  reform  in  Church  and  State,  how 
much  more  was  it  to  be  expected  in  the  fiery  and 
tempestuous  south  !  The  Protestants  in  Nimes  having 
been  refused  the  use  of  the  cathedral  by  the  Estates 
of  Languedoc,  unexpectedly  got  possession  of  it  late 
in  1561.  They  were  coming  out  of  the  neighbouring 
Church  of  St.  Eugenie,  which  had  been  granted,  when 
they  saw  a  hubbub  at  the  door  of  the  cathedral.  Some 
ill-behaved  children  had  been  driven  out  by  the  beadle. 
Two  noblemen  coming  up  went  into  the  cathedral, 
and  the  Huguenots  immediately  followed.  Terrified 
at  the  sight  of  them,  the  bishop  and  his  clergy  fled, 
whereupon  the  intruders  broke  the  images  and  demo- 
lished the  altar.  Emboldened  by  this,  they  ran  in 
ever-increasing  crowds  into  several  other  churches^ 
destroying  some  of  the  sacred  vessels.    Two  days  after^ 


their  great  preacher^  Viret^  preached  in  the  cathedral, 
it  being  Christmas,  and  received  there  the  public 
abjuration  of  the  Prior  of  Millau,  in  Rouergne,  of  the 
Abbess  of  TarasQon,  and  several  nuns  of  the  abbey  of 
St.  Sauveur.  On  the  first  Sunday  in  the  new  year, 
1562,  two  communion  services  were  held  in  the 
cathedral,  and  three  ministers  were  ordained  by  the 
imposition  of  hands.  At  the  communion,  nearly  8,000 
communicants  sat  down,  having  at  the  head  the  mem- 
bers of  the  consistory,  the  magistrates  and  the  consuls, 
in  their  red  robes  and  hoods. 

However,  the  cathedral  did  not  remain  long  in  their 
hands,  for  the  edict  of  January,  1562,  granting  the 
free  exercise  of  their  religion  to  the  Protestants,  re- 
quired the  return  of  all  the  churches  they  had  taken 
from  the  Catholics ;  besides,  their  own  provincial 
synod  decided  this  ought  to  be  done,  and  in  fact  all 
ecclesiastical  property  of  which  they  had  become  pos- 
sessed. It  opposed  image-breaking,  burning  crosses, 
or  any  other  scandalous  act,  all  gatherings  in  the 
streets,  and  the  wearing  arms  in  religious  assemblies. 


Terrible  Position  of  the  Huguenots. 

The  friends  of  corruption  and  superstition  felt  strength- 
ened by  the  failure  of  the  colloquy.  It  was  a  great 
blow  to  the  reconciliatory  policy  of  Catherine  and  her 
minister,  and  the  Guises  began  to  prepare  for  the 
extermination  of  their  foes.  The  first  thing  they 
sought  to  do  was  to  prevent  the  German  Lutherans 
from  helping  the  French  Calvinists.  Four  of  the 
Guises  went  to  Alsace  to  win  over  Duke  Christopher 
of  Wiirtemberg,  a  German  prince,  very  influential  and 
much  respected.      ^Mass,'  the  Cardinal  of   Lorraine 


told  him,  '  was  no  longer  celebrated  in  three  of  his 
bishoprics  unless  there  were  communicants,  and  he 
was  going  to  abolish  it  altogether/  At  Duke  Chris- 
topher's explanations  of  his  own  creed^  the  Duke  of 
Guise  cried  out,  ^  Oh,  if  that's  it,  I'm  a  Lutheran  ! ' 
After  this  attempt  to  hoodwink  the  Germans,  this 
same  duke,  with  one  of  his  brothers,,  went  to  a  little 
town  in  the  domains  of  the  family,  called  Vassy,  and 
there,  on  Sunday^  the  1st  of  March,  1562,  slaughtered 
sixty  Calvinists,  and  this,  notwithstanding  the  Edict  of 
Toleration  issued  by  the  Royal  Council  on  the  17th  of 
January  of  the  same  year. 

At  the  news  of  this  truculent  deed  the  Calvinists 
throughout  France  were  agitated  and  indignant.  Beza, 
supported  by  the  Prince  de  Conde,  at  once  demanded 
justice  of  the  queen-mother,  the  latter  offering  to 
support  her  with  an  army  of  50,000  Protestants. 
Catherine  begged  Guise  to  put  off  his  return  to  Paris. 
He  came  nevertheless,  entering  the  city  at  the  head 
of  2,000  horsemen,  and  was  received  at  the  Porte  St. 
Denis  to  the  cry  of  Ywe  Guise  !  all  the  Protestants 
quitting  the  city. 

The  queen-mother  tried  to  keep  on  good  terms  with 
both  parties ;  Conde  she  authorized  to  take  up  arms, 
recommending  herself  and  her  sons  to  his  protection, 
while  she  told  the  Parisians  she  would  bring  the  king 
to  Paris  and  the  citizens  should  be  armed.  However, 
she  did  not  keep  her  word,  but  went  to  Fontainebleau, 
leaving  the  King  of  Navarre,  who  had  ceased  to  be 
Huguenot^  to  represent  royalty  in  Paris. 

Here  was  a  position  for  the  Calvinists.  A  great 
conspiracy  for  their  extermination,  the  royal  power 
dominated  by  the  leaders  of  the  conspiracy.  Were 
they  to  allow  themselves  to  be  slaughtered^  all  law 
and  justice  to  be  trodden  under  foot,  and  the  Religion 
suppressed  ?     Michelet  blaDies  the  Huguenot  leaders 


for  allowing  so  many  years  to  pass  in  silent  endurance 
of  atrocious  injustice ;  and  he  seems  to  think  that  the 
final  shipwreck  of  their  cause  was  due  to  their  long 
incertitude  on  the  capital  question^  Ought  we  to  be 
obedient  to  the  powers  that  be^  just  or  unjust  ? 

This  was  the  real  question  which  Coliguy  was  called 
upon  to  answer  at  this  terrible  crisis.  He  was  in  an 
agony  of  doubt.  His  friends  gathered  round  him  at 
Chatillon^  urging  him  to  mount  his  horse  and  join 
Conde.  For  two  days  the  discussion  went  on,  and 
still  he  refused.  But  at  night,  after  he  had  retired  to 
rest  and  had  fallen  asleep,  he  was  awoke  by  the  deep 
sighs  of  his  wife.  ^  Here/  she  said,  *  we  lie,  lapped 
in  luxury,  while  the  bodies  of  our  brothers,  members 
of  Christ,  bones  of  our  bones,  flesh  of  our  flesh,  lie  in 
dungeons  or  in  the  open  fields,  at  the  mercy  of  the 
dogs  and  the  birds  of  prey.  When  I  think  of  the 
prudent  language  with  which  you  have  closed  the 
mouths  of  your  brothers,  I  tremble  lest  to  be  so  wise 
for  men  should  prove  to  be  unwise  for  God.  Can  you 
refuse  to  use  the  military  genius  He  has  given  you 
in  the  service  of  His  children?  The  knight's  sword 
which  you  carry,  is  it  to  oppress  the  afflicted,  or  to 
cut  the  talons  of  tyrants  ?  You  have  confessed  the 
justice  of  taking  up  arms,  can  you  give  up  the  love 
of  right  because  you  doubt  its  success  ?  God  takes 
away  sense  from  those  who  resist  Him  under  pretext 
of  sparing  blood ;  He  knows  how  to  save  the  soul  which 
wills  to  lose  itself,  and  to  cause  that  soul  to  be  lost 
that  seeks  to  take  care  of  itself.  Monsieur,  the  spilt 
blood  of  our  brethren  and  your  wife  cry  out  to  God 
that  you  will  be  the  murderer  of  those  you  do  not 
prevent  being  murdered  ! ' 

To  this  impassioned  appeal  Coligny  listened  patiently. 
Then  sadly  going  over  all  his  arguments  of  the  pre- 
vious evening — ^the  folly  of  popular  risings,  the  doubt- 


fulness  of  entering  an  unformed  party,  tlie  diflSculty 
of  struggling  against  those  wlio  had  possession  of 
an  ancient  State,  in  maintaining  which  so  many  were 
interested,  of  commencing  a  civil  war  in  the  midst  of 
external  peace — he  said  to  her  :  '  When  you  have 
reflected  over  these  arguments,  lay  your  hand  on  your 
breast  and  see  if  you  have  constancy  to  endure  the 
reproaches  most  people  make  when  they  judge  a  cause 
by  its  failure,  the  treasons  of  our  own  people,  flight, 
exile,  shame,  nakedness,  hunger,  and,  what  will  be 
more  diflacult  to  bear,  that  of  your  children.  Then 
think  of  your  death  by  the  executioner,  after  having 
seen  your  husband  dragged  througli  the  streets  and 
exposed  to  the  contempt  of  the  vulgar,  and  for  a 
conclusion,  your  children  the  degraded  valets  of  your 
enemies,  strengthened  and  triumphant  through  your 
efibrts.  I  give  you  three  weeks  to  consider,  and  if, 
after  then,  you  are  willing  to  accept  all  these  chances, 
I  will  go  to  perish  with  you  and  your  friends.' 

'  The  three  weeks  are  past,'  she  replied.  '  I  sum- 
mon you  in  the  name  of  God  to  defraud  us  no  longer ! ' 

Coligny  said  no  more,  but  next  morning  mounted 
his  horse  and  rode  ofl"  to  join  Conde.  The  Rubicon 
was  passed,  and  the  first  civil  war  began  (1562). 

Coligny's  interior  struggle  is  a  clue  to  that  which 
the  whole  body  of  French  Protestants  had  gone 
through,  since  the  death  of  Henry  II.  Considering  all 
things,  no  one  can  be  surprised  that  they  came  to 
the  resolution  to  take  up  arms,  since  the  royal 
authority  was  not  strong  enough  to  protect  their  lives 
and  liberties.  It  is  very  important  to  notice  where 
the  religious  scruple  lay  which  had  hitherto  prevented 
them  taking  up  arms.  It  was  not  the  very  earnest 
injunctions  which  our  Lord  gave  His  disciples  against 
resisting  their  enemies,  but  the  apparent  support 
which  St.   Paul  gave  to  the  doctrine  of  passive  ob- 

THE    WAR   OF  1563.  71 

edience.  Moreover^  too^  the  very  thoroughness  with 
which  they  had  thrown  off  the  old  superstitions  con- 
nected with  papal  and  episcopal  authority  rendered 
thoughtful  and  prudent  men  more  afraid  than  their 
Catholic  forefathers  to  put  themselves  in  open  rebellion 
against  the  royal  authority. 

At  last  the  opposing  forces  approached  each  other. 
Conde's  brother,,  Navarre,  and  Coligny's  uncle,  Mont- 
morenci,  were,  with  the  Dake  of  Guise,  the  leaders 
of  the  Catholic  forces.  As  usual,  the  war  consisted 
of  parleys,  engagements,  sieges.  The  Huguenots  lost 
Bourges  and  Rouen,  but  at  the  siege  of  the  latter 
city  the  King  of  Navarre  was  killed.  At  the  battle 
of  Dreux  both  sides  lost  a  leader,  Conde  and  Mont- 
morenci  being  taken  prisoners.  Finally,  a  Huguenot 
officer  assassinated  the  Duke  of  Guise,  and  the  war 
collapsed.  Montmorenci  and  Conde  were  commis- 
sioned to  arrange  terms  of  peace,  which,  through  the 
moral  weakness  of  the  latter,  were  very  unfavourable 
for  the  Protestants  (1563). 

The  colloquy  at  Poissy  had  taught  Catherine  much. 
At  one  time  she  had  thought  the  Calvinists  would 
conquer,  and  accordingly  had  made  arrangements  for 
changing  her  religion  and  that  of  the  king.  But,  find- 
ing that  during  the  civil  war  the  mass  of  the  people 
remained  faithful  to  the  ancient  religion,  she  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  was  safer  to  side  with  the 
Catholics.  This,  it  became  clear  to  her,  was  the  policy 
she  ought  to  take,  when,  by  the  deaths  of  Guise  and 
Navarre,  the  Catholic  party  was  without  a  head. 
Henceforth  she  took  that  position,  and  came  to  look 
on  Coligny  and  Conde  as  her  personal  foes.  In  June, 
1565,  Catherine  had  met  the  Duke  of  Alva  at  Bayonne, 
and  the  question  they  discussed  was  how  to  deal  with 
Protestantism.  Alva  led  the  queen-mother  from  point 
to  point,  until  he  made  her  see  that  there  was  only  one 


remedy^  and  that  was  extirpation.  He  particularly 
insisted  on  tlie  destruction  of  Coligny.  ^  One  salmon/ 
lie  kept  saying,  ^is  worth  many  frogs.'  True  to  her 
cat-like  nature,  she  gave  so  little  sign  of  this  change 
in  her  policy,  that  she  still  supported  L^ Hospital  as 
chancellor.  His  well-known  devotion  to  justice  and 
humanity  served  as  a  cover  to  the  designs  she  began 
to  entertain. 

The  cause  of  corruption  and  tyranny  was  now 
greatly  strengthened  by  the  entry  of  the  Jesuits  into 
France,  first  under  another  name,  and  then  opeuly. 
Their  success  was  rapid;  they  soon  had  flourishing 
establishments  at  Lyons,  Toulouse,  and  Bordeaux. 
But  the  religious  character  of  the  strife  was  greatly 
intensified  by  the  accession,  at  the  close  of  the  year 
1565,  of  Pius  v.,  the  most  fanatic  of  popes.  To 
strengthen  the  Catholic  cause  in  France,  he  despatched 
such  military  forces  as  his  utmost  efforts  could  com- 
mand, giving  their  leader  the  monstrous  injunction  to 
^  take  no  Huguenot  prisoner,  but  instantly  to  kill 
every  one  that  should  fall  into  his  hands.' 

On  the  other  hand,  the  new  life  in  Christendom 
surged  and  boiled  like  some  active  volcano.  All 
things  presaged  a  general  eruption.  It  burst  out  in 
the  Netherlands,  and  it  was  impossible  that  France 
should  not  feel  the  general  upheaval. 


Killing  or  Being  Killed. 

The  change  in  the  action  of  Coligny,  in  15C7,  is  evi- 
dence of  the  great  progress  in  the  Reform  movement. 
Instead  of  the  fear  and  doubt  with  which  he  entere  1 
on  the  first  war,  he  now  proposed  to  raise  the  Cal- 
vinists   G]i   masBB,  to  attack   and   destroy  the    Swiss 


mercenaries,  to  arrest  and  drive  out  of  France  the 
Cardinal  of  Lorraine,  to  seize  the  king,  and  govern  the 
country  in  his  name  (1567). 

The  rising  took  Catherine  by  surprise,  and  she  fled 
with  the  king  to  Meaux,  and  then  fled  back,  pursued 
by  the  Huguenots,  to  Paris.  They  established  them- 
selves at  St.  Denis,  and  demanded  religious  liberty 
without  distinction  of  places  or  persons,  equal  admis- 
sion of  the  followers  of  both  religions  to  all  offices  in 
the  State,  the  reduction  of  the  imposts,  and  the  con- 
vocation of  the  States-General. 

The  old  Constable,  Montmorenci,  took  the  field 
against  his  nephews.  All  the  reactionary  forces  in 
Paris  joined  to  put  down  the  Huguenots  ;  the  city  of 
Paris  gave  400,000  livres,  the  prelates  voted  250,000 
crowns  in  the  name  of  the  clergy,  the  crown  pledged 
its  diamonds  at  Venice  for  100,000  crowns,  its  rubies 
at  Florence  for  100,000  more. 

A  battle  took  place  on  the  10th  of  November  at  St. 
Denis,  in  which  Coligny  and  Conde  commanded  the 
Huguenots,  while  Coligny's  uncle  and  cousins  led  the 
royal  troops.  Conde  charged  with  fury,  and  Mont- 
morenci was  surrounded  and  killed.  In  the  end 
the  Huguenots  had  to  retire.  Their  numbers  were  too 
small,  and  the  gentlemen,  of  whom  their  army  was 
mainly  composed,  were  too  independent,  too  unwilling 
to  endure  protracted  fatigues.  Coligny  had  in  con- 
sequence to  agree  to  a  treaty,  for  the  maintenance  of 
which  there  was  no  guarantee. 

Peace  was  no  sooner  made  than  Catherine  began  to 
prepare  for  another  war.  The  pope  gave  her  permis- 
sion to  alienate  50,000  crowns  from  the  goods  of  the 
Church,  the  bull  expressly  stipulating  that  the  money 
should  be  used  for  the  extermination  of  the  heretics. 

The  Huguenot  leaders  were  now  seen  flying  from 
spot  to  spot.     On  one  occasion,  hurrying  from  Noyers 


to  the  other  side  of  the  Loire,  they,  and  the  large 
company  of  women  and  children  with  them,  were  in 
the  greatest  danger.  The  country  was  covered  with 
troops,  and  they  knew  of  no  bridge  or  crossing-place 
which  would  not  be  blockaded.  While  wondering 
what  they  should  do,  one  of  their  gentlemen  came  up 
and  told  them  that,  owing  to  the  late  drought,  a  ford 
existed,  where  they  could  cross.  They  pushed  on,  and 
by  the  aid  of  two  or  three  little  boats,  in  which  they 
put  the  women  and  children,  they  got  over.  But  no 
sooner  were  they  safely  landed  than  a  sudden  rise  took 
place  in  the  river,  protecting  them  from  their  pursuers, 
who  by  this  time  were  seen  on  the  other  side.  But 
now  the  Loire  overflowed  its  banks,  and  a  boat  could 
not  cross  without  danger.  Moved  by  a  deliverance 
which  seemed  little  less  than  a  miracle,  the  fugitives 
fell  on  their  knees  and  sang  the  114tli  Psalm,  celebra- 
ting the  passage  of  the  R-ed  Sea. 

L^Hospital  being  now  dismissed,  Catherine  wrote  to 
Philip  II.  that  religious  liberty  had  been  revoked,  and 
that  there  remained  nothing  to  be  done  but  to  combine 
the  military  operations  in  France  and  the  Netherlands. 
In  September,  15G8,  the  Parliament  of  Paris  forbade, 
under  pain  of  death,  the  exercise  of  any  religion  other 
than  the  Catholic  and  Roman,  and  ordered  all  Protes- 
tant ministers  to  quit  France  in  a  fortnight.  Another 
decree  obliged  all  Protestants  to  resign  any  offices 
they  held  in  the  judicature  or  the  finances,  and  com- 
pelled all  members  of  Parliament  or  the  universities 
to  take  an  oath  of  allegiance  to  Catholicism.  As  the 
news  spread  the  Protestants  rose  indignant,  and  the 
court  heard  with  consternation  that  a  rebellion  raged 
through  France.  In  three  weeks  the  greater  part  of 
Poitou,  Angoumois,  and  Saintonge  were  conquered  by 
the  Huguenot  generals.  The  estuary  of  the  Gironde 
was  in  their  hands,  and  in  the  south-east  the  governors 


(From  an  ancient  print.) 


of   tlie   various  towns   could  do   notliing  to   stop  tlie 
popular  rising. 

The  Diike  of  Anjou,  followed  by  the  young  Dakes 
of  Guise  and  Montmorenci,  and,  advised  by  Tavannes, 
advanced  against  the  Protestants,  and  at  Jarnac  de- 
feated Conde  and  Coligny.  Conde  was  killed  and  his 
body  infamously  outraged  by  the  despicable  com- 
mander, who  when  he  became  Henry  III.  had  Guise 
murdered  and  kicked  the  corpse. 

But  the  Hugaenot  leaders  did  not  lose  heart. 
Jeanne  d'Albret  presented  her  son,  afterwards  Henry 
lY.,  and  the  young  Conde  to  the  army  as  those  who 
would  revenge  the  death  of  their  general. 

Meanwhile  Coligny,  in  whose  hands  the  command 
was  now  concentrated,  had  been  condemned  by  a 
decree  of  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  dated  the  19th  of 
March,  15G9,  to  be  hanged  and  strangled  in  the  Place  de 
Greve,  and  then  to  be  taken  to  Montfaucon,  and  there 
to  be  hanged  in  the  highest  place  that  could  be  found. 
If  he  could  not  be  apprehended,  then  this  was  to  be 
done  to  his  efSgy.  All  his  goods  were  declared  con- 
fiscated to  the  king,  his  children  ignoble,  villeins, 
low-born,  infamous,  incapable  of  holding  any  office, 
dignity,  or  wealth  in  the  kingdom.  In  fine,  a  reward 
was    offered  of   50,000  crowns   for    Coligny,  dead  or 


On  the  3rd  of  October,  1569,  the  Huguenot  army 
was  beaten  at  Moncontour.  It  was  a  terrible  disaster. 
Out  of  twenty-five  thousand  soldiers  only  six  or  eight 
thousand  remained,  the  rest  were  slain  or  prisoners. 
Coligny  was  wounded  in  three  places  at  the  com- 
mencement of  the  action,  and  had  to  be  carried  off  the 
field.  The  admiral,  lying  in  his  litter  wounded,  defeated, 
and  hopeless  if  any  man  should  be,  suddenly  saw 
the  curtain  lifted,  and  another  wounded  man  look  ni 
bis  face,  shining  with  the  peace  of  heaven.     '  SI  est  ce 


qiie  D'leii  est  tres  doux,''  ^  he  says^  drops  the  veil,  and 

sinks  back  on  his  litter.  It  was  like  an  angel  from 

heaven  strengthening  the  hero  in  the  darkest  moment 
of  his  life. 



If  we  consider  the  sorb  of  world  in  which  the  French 
Reformed  Churches  arose,  we  shall  not  be  surprised 
if,  instead  of  the  peaceful  triumphs  of  Christian  civili- 
zation, we  read  of  scarcely  anything  but  sieges  and 
battles,  popular  risings,  and  cruel  massacres.  Nor 
must  we  expect  to  find  the  members  of  these  Churches 
always  stainless.  Yesterday  themselves  Catholics, 
infected  with  the  turbulent  spirit  of  the  times,  edu- 
cated in  the  intolerant  notions  of  the  Middle  Ages, 
with  its  gross  inequalities  and  its  rough  notions  of 
popular  justice,  we  may  deplore  but  cannot  be  sur- 
prised if  that  happened  in  France  which  always 
happens  in  religious  wars.  An  exterminating  and 
persecuting  spirit  had  become  part  of  the  temperament 
of  Roman  Catholicism  before  Protestantism  was  born 
or  dreamt  of.  It  was  only  when  the  latter  began  to 
use  ^  force,'  the  time-honoured  weapon  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  that  Protestantism  caught  a  similar 
spirit  and  fell  occasionally  into  acts  of  terrorism. 

The  massacre  of  the  Protestants  of  Yassy,  in  1561, 
inaugurated  a  series  of  massacres  which,  taken  alto- 
gether, Michelet  declares  were  more  murderous  than 
that   of   St.  Bartholomew.     It   is   said   that  between 

^  The  opening  line  of  the  paraphrase  of  the   seventy-third 

*  Surely  God  is  good  to  Israel, 
Even  to  such  as  are  pure  in  heart.' 


1561-1562^  forty-eiglit  persons  died  of  fright,  six  were 
buried  alive,  twenty- three  burnt,  nine  drowned,  four 
hundred  and  forty-three  hanged  or  shot,  one  hundred 
and  seventeen  women  died  of  hunger  and  cold,  forty- two 
children  had  their  throats  cut ;  the  pen  refuses  further 
details  :  .  .  .  altogether  one  thousand  three  hun- 
dred victims. 

It  was  this  terrible  condition  of  things  that  brought 
about  the  first  civil  war.  During  the  four  years  that 
followed  the  peace  of  1568,  the  condition  of  the 
Protestants  throughout  France  had  been  getting  worse 
and  worse.  Their  great  and  powerful  enemies,  the 
pope  and  the  King  of  Spain,  were  urging  their  exter- 
mination; edicts  were  being  sent  out  against  them, 
forbidding  them  to  make  collections,  to  assemble 
synods,  etc. ;  the  Duke  of  Alva  had  crossed  the  Alps, 
and  was  marching  along  the  frontier,  passing  near  to 
Geneva.  Altogether  the  danger  was  so  great  that  even 
Coligny  made  up  his  mind  that  the  only  thing  to  do 
was  to  seize  the  king,  and  govern  in  his  name.  It 
was  at  this  juncture  that  a  tumult  in  Nimes  ended  in 
a  massacre  of  some  jjriests,  a  deplorable  act  and  a 
disgrace  to  the  Huguenot  cause.  Unfortunately,  we 
know  its  details  only  through  Catholic  historians, 
the  Protestant  chroniclers  of  the  time  having  been 
ashamed  to  say  anything  about  it.  The  pecuHar  ex- 
citement in  which  the  Huguenots  were  then  living  had 
in  NiQies  been  worked  up  to  a  pitch  by  the  fact  that 
their  Catholic  governor  had  interfered  in  the  annual 
election  of  the  consuls,  and  although  the  Protestants 
were  the  more  numerous  and  influential,  had  caused 
four  Catholics  to  be  elected. 

A  slight  circumstance  put  a  spark  to  the  tinder. 
It  was  the  second  day  of  the  fair  at  Nimes,  Michaelmas, 
1567.  Some  soldiers  overturned  the  basket  of  one  of 
the  market  women  and  kicked  her  vegetables  into  the 


air.  The  woman  raised  a  cry_,  and  all  tlie  market  was 
soon  in  tlie  greatest  confusion^  the  disorder  being  in- 
creased by  the  ontcry  made  against  the  soldiers  who^ 
to  save  themselves^  pnt  their  hands  to  their  swords  : 
'  To  arms  !  kill  the  papists  !  ^  It  was  the  signal  for  an 

The  first  consul  tried  in  vain  to  appease  the  tumult. 
The  people,  led  by  a  military  man^  rushed  to  the  epis- 
copal palace;  the  bishop  had. just  time  to  get  out  at 
the  back^  and  was  conducted  by  a  Huguenot  away  from 
the  town.  Meanwhile  the  first  consul  was  arrested, 
the  bishop^s  palace  pillaged,  the  vicar-general  killed, 
the  cathedral  sacked ;  and^  if  we  are  to  believe  Catholic 
historians  of  Provence  and  Languedoc,  the  insurgents 
threw  a  Franciscan  monk  and  a  number  of  priests 
down  a  well.  This  massacre  is  known  in  Nimois  his- 
tory as  the  Michelade,  because  of  the  particular  feast 
at  which  ifc  occurred. 

Whether  Christians  are  right,  under  any  circum- 
stances, in  taking  up  arms  in  defence  of  their  faith, 
is  a  question  which  this  history  suggests,  and  which 
it  can  hardly  fail  to  answer.  Already  the  French 
Calvinists  had  met  with  defeat  after  defeat,  already  a 
very  great  number  among  them  had  come  to  a  prema- 
ture and  violent  end,  and  already  they  had  become, 
what  was  worst  of  all,  demoralized.  As  the  war  con- 
tinued, their  spiritual  life  declined,  and  a  fierce  bandit 
temper  began  to  prevail.  These  things  tried  Coligny 
perhaps  more  than  his  defeats.  With  his  own  hands 
he  chastised  one  of  his  captains  whom  he  caught 
pillagiugj  and  to  employ  the  wild  energy  of  others,  he 
sent  a  whole  band  into  Brabant  to  assist  the  Nether- 
landers.  But  he  had  foreseen  this  result.  When, 
during  the  first  war,  he  had  noticed  that  there  was  no 
swearing,  no  dice-playing,  no  pillaging  in  the  Hugue- 
not camps,  but  constant  prayer  and  psalm-siuging,  he 


said,  with  a  sad  forecast  of    the   demoralization  war 
must  surely  bring,  ^  Dejeune  liermite y  vieux  diable." 

This  demoralization  of  the  Protestant  laity  had  a 
serious  influence  on  their  ecclesiastical  position.  In 
the  consistories,  the  provincial  and  the  national 
synods,  the  laity  had  been  originally  well  represented ; 
under  the  moral  condition  brought  about  by  these 
wars,  Beza  and  the  Genevese  authorities  were  in 
favour  of  shutting  them  out,  and  confining  the  rule  of 
the  Church  to  the  ministers.  But  as  this  would  have 
been  impossible  with  regard  to  the  powerful  nobility 
at  their  head,  as  was  shown  in  the  national  synod  of 
1571,  it  is  clear  that  if  victory  instead  of  defeat  had 
crowned  their  efforts^  the  Reformed  Churches  would 
have  been  handed  over  to  clerical  and  aristocratic 

In  the  midst  of  all  these  difficulties,  Coligny  strug- 
gled on  with  the  heroism  of  despair.  A  new  army 
was  got  together  in  the  south-eastern  provinces. 
Moving  to  the  north-west,  Coligny  crossed  the  Loire, 
defied  the  enemy  near  Arnay-le-Duc,  and  marched 
towards  Paris.  Meanwhile  a  powerful  ally  was  coming 
to  his  aid. 

Charles  IX.  was  one  of  the  most  unfortunate  of 
princes.  His  birth,  his  temperament,  his  surroundings 
hurried  him  into  a  crime  which  loads  him  with  infamy; 
but  he  was  the  best  of  his  race,  the  only  member  of 
the  whole  Valois  family  with  whom  wo  can  feel  the 
slightest  sympathy,  there  was  a  touch  of  honesty, 
of  generosity,  of  nobility  about  him  which  rendered 
liim  more  and  more  inexplicable  to  his  mother,  who 
felt  him  slipping  out  of  her  hands.  Her  favourite  son 
was  the  infamous  and  dastardly  Anjou,  and  the  result 
of  her  proceedings  had  been  to  create  in  the  king's 
mind  a  violent  antipathy  to  his  brother.  The  battles 
of  Jarnac  and  Moncontour,  at  which  Anjou  nominally 


commanded^  had  given  him  a  false  gloiy,  for  no  one 
could  be  less  of  a  hero  than  this  effeminate  prince. 
His  very  presence  fretted  the  king^  who  in  his  loneli- 
ness turned  to  the  only  man  strong  enough  to  help 
him,  even  to  Coligny,  at  that  moment  an  apparent 
rebel.  This  doubtless  was  the  explanation  of  the 
treaty  which  the  Protestants  now  obtained,  by  which 
liberty  of  conscience  was  conceded,  and  a  certain 
measure  of  liberty  of  worship.  Protestants  were 
again  eligible  for  the  public  service,  and  were  to  have 
those  offices  restored  from  which  they  had  been 
ousted ;  and  as  a  guarantee  four  cities — La  Rochelle, 
Montauban,  Cognac,  and  La  Charite — were  to  remain 
for  two  years  in  their  hands. 



Thus  to  all  appearance  these  terrible  civil  wars  were 
happily  concluded,  and  to  seal  the  reconciliation  a 
royal  marriage  was  arranged  between  Henry  of  Navarre 
and  the  king's  sister,  Margaret. 

Invited  to  court,  Coligny  responded  to  the  king's 
affectionate  welcome  with  ardour,  and  thought  of 
nothing  but  carrying  out  the  grand  idea  of  his  life, 
which  was  to  make  France  the  head  and  centre  of  the 
Protestant  movement.  He  soon  induced  the  king  to 
break  with  Spain,  to  look  askance  at  Queen  Elizabeth, 
and  to  support  the  patriots  in  the  Netherlands.  In 
this  way  he  promised  not  only  to  enlarge  France,  but 
to  give  it  colonies. 

Charles  threw  himself  into  Coligny's  policy,  and 
pushed  on  his  sister's  marriage  with  some  violence. 
Catherine,  Anjou,  and  their  Italian  set  watched  for 
some  moment  when  they  might  turn  the  king  against 


his  new  minister.  But  the  heroic  courage  of  Coligny 
in  remaining  at  Paris  surrounded  by  enemies  who^he 
must  have  known  were  thirsting  for  his  blood,  main- 
tained the  confidence  of  the  king.  A  strong  convic- 
tion that  his  whole  course  was  predestined,  and  his 
life  absolutely  secure  until  the  appointed  moment,  is 
tlie^  only  explanation  of  the  almost  reckless  way  in 
which  Coligny  exposed  himself.  He  went  on  his 
course  totally  regardless  of  his  foes. 

To  the  Catholics  this  temper  must  have  looked  like 
domineering  audacity,  and  they  resolved  to  assassinate 
him  without  delay. 

Catherine  and  her  'most  dear'  Anjou  accordingly 
confederated  with  the  man  who  had  been  nurtured 
from  childhood  in  the  belief  that  Coligny  had  caused  his 
father  to  be  assassinated.  The  Duke  of  Guise  under- 
took the  murder  of  the  admiral.  If  the  Huguenots  rose 
to  revenge  him,  the  populace  of  Paris  would  side  with 
the  Guise,  and  there  would  be  a  general  melee,  in  which 
many  of  the  queen-mother's  enemies  would  be  killed. 

The  royal  marriage  took  place  on  the  18th  of  August, 
1572.  Four  days  after,  as  Coligny  was  returning  from 
the  Louvre  to  his  lodging,  he  was  fired  at  from  a  house 
in  the  cloister  of  St.  Germain  FAuxerrois.  The  index 
finger  of  his  right  hand  was  taken  off,  and  the  shot 
lodged  in  his  left  arm. 

Charles  was  playing  at  tennis  with  Guise  and 
Teligny,  Coligny's  son-in-law,  when  the  news  was 
brought  him.  'Am  I  never  to  have  peace?'  he 
exclaimed.  He  went  to  see  the  admiral,  his  mother 
and  his  brother  followed  him.  The  wounded  man 
asked  to  see  the  king  alone.  Catherine  cut  the  inter- 
view short,  and  in  the  coach  as  they  were  returning 
pressed  Charles  to  tell  her  what  Coligny  had  said. 
'  He  told  me  to  beware  of  you,'  he  replied,  in  a  worried, 
angry  manner. 


Catlierlne  saw  that  there  was  uo  time  to  lose,  the 
blow  had  failed,  the  Huguenots  would  be  alarmed  and 
on  their  guard.  She  called  together  her  fellow  con- 
spirators, and  they  determined  that  the  king  must  be 
induced  to  consent  to  the  destruction  of  Coligny  forth- 
with. They  went  to  the  king's  cabinet  and  affirmed 
one  after  the  other  that  tlie  Huguenots  were  arming 
against  him  in  defence  of  the  admiral.  Excited  and 
worried,  Charles  seemed  to  believe  what  they  said,  but 
resolutely  refused  to  listen  to  any  proposal  against 
Coligny.  The  conspirators  felt  themselves  losing 
ground,  especially  as  one  of  their  number,  the  Marshal 
de  Retz,  began  to  falter,  and  to  say  that  to  put  the 
admiral  out  of  the  way  would  be  perfidious  and 
disloyal.  However,  no  one  seconding  him,  the  rest 
picked  up  their  courage  and  combated  his  doubts  with 
energy.  And  they  conquered,  for  all  at  once  ^  w^e 
recognised,^  said  the  Duke  of  Anjou,  long  afterwards, 
in  a  moment  of  repentance,  ^  a  sudden  change  and  a 
strange  metamorphose  in  the  king,  who  ranged  him- 
self on  our  side  and  embraced  our  opinion,  going  much 
farther  and  more  criminally,  so  that  he  who  had  been 
persuaded  with  difficulty  it  was  now  difficult  to 
restrain,  for  rising  up  and  commanding  silence,  he, 
with  fury  and  anger,  in  swearing  by  the  dear  God, 
said  to  us,  '^  Since  you  find  it  good  to  kill  the  admiral, 
let  it  not  only  be  done,  but  at  the  same  time  all  the 
Huguenots  in  France,  in  order  that  there  may  be  none 
to  reproach  us,  and  let  the  order  be  given  at  once !  '^ 
And  going  out  furiously  he  left  us  in  his  cabinet,  where 
we  held  a  consultation  during  the  rest  of  the  day  and 
during  a  good  part  of  the  night  as  to  the  best  means 
of  carrying  out  the  project.' 



The  Murder  op  Coligny. 

On  the  niglit  before  the  massacre  of  August  the  24th, 
1572,  the  admirals  daughter  Louise,  with  her  husband 
Teiigny,  did  not  wish  to  quit  their  father,  but  he 
begged  them  to  go  and  take  a  little  repose.  As  day 
began  to  break.  Guise,  D^Aumale,  and  the  bastard  of 
Angouleme  made  their  way  to  Coligny^s  hotel.  One 
of  their  number  knocked  at  the  door ;  the  man  who 
kept  the  keys  came  to  open  it,  when  he  was  at  once 
thrown  down  and  poignarded.  The  arquebusiers  that 
Guise  had  brought  immediately  threw  themselves  on 
the  Swiss  who  were  guarding  the  hotel,  but  who  after 
a  struggle  succeeded  in  barricading  the  door  of  the 

Coligny,  hearing  the  noise,  thought  there  was  a 
popular  outbreak  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  hotel. 
He  rose  from  his  bed  and  put  on  a  dressing-gown. 
But  the  shots  which  struck  the  window  told  that  it 
was  an  attack  on  the  hotel  itself.  He  asked  a  minister 
present  to  offer  prayer,  and  he  himself  invoked  Jesus 
Christ,  his  God  and  Saviour,  commending  himself  into 
His  hands. 

Suddenly,  one  of  his  servants  rushed  into  the  room, 
and  addressing  Coligny  said :  '  God  has  called  us  to 
Himself,  my  lord;  the  hotel  is  forced,  resistance  is 
impossible  !  ^ 

The  admiral  quietly  answered  :  ^  It  is  a  long  time 
since  I  have  been  ready  to  die ;  save  yourselves  if  it  be 
possible,  for  you  cannot  preserve  my  life.  I  recom- 
mend my  soul  to  the  grace  of  God.''  All  fled,  one 
servant  alone,  Nicolas  Muss,  refused  to  go. 

The  murderers  soon  burst  into  the  room ;  the  first 
was  a  servant  of  Guise,  named  Behme.     ^  Are  you  the 


admiral  ? '  he  said^  poiutiug  a  sword  at  Coligny's 

'YeSj  I  ara  he/  replied  the  victim;  ^you  ought 
to  respect  old  age  and  my  infirmity,  but  you  cannot 
make  my  life  more  brief/ 

Behme  with  an  oath  plunged  his  sword  into  the 
admiraFs  breast,  and  then  struck  him  several  blows 
on  the  head,  the  others  then  severally  gave  a  blow,  and 
Coligny  fell  to  the  ground. 

'  Have  you  finished  ? '  a  voice  cried  from  the  bottom 
of  the  court. 

'  It  is  done,^  replied  the  assassins. 

'  Then  throw  him  out  of  the  window,^  said  the  Duke 
of  Guise;  Hhey  can't  believe  it  unless  they  see  it  with 
their  own  eyes/ 

The  murderers  lifted  the  body ;  there  was  life  in  it 
yet,  for  it  made  an  eS'ort  to  get  out  of  their  hands. 
They  threw  it  on  the  pavement,  and  it  was  only  then 
Coligny  gave  his  last  sigh. 

Guise  took  a  pocket-handkerchief  and  wiped  the 
face.  'Yes,  it  is  he  ;  I  recognise  him.''  And  striking 
the  venerable  head  with  the  heel  of  his  boot,  he  sprang 
on  his  horse  and  rode  away,  saying,  '  Courage,  sol- 
diers ;  we  have  begun  happily,  now  let  us  go  after  the 


The  Massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew. 

*  How  often  had  I  predicted  it !  how  often  did  I  warn 
them  it  was  coming ! '  Catherine  de  Medici  might 
have  mockingly  taken  up  Beza's  querulous  lament  and 
have  repeated,  '  What  warnings  I  gave  them  of  it !  ' 

The  betrothal  on  the  17th  of  August  produced  an 
explosion;   the  preachers  foamed,  the  anger  of  God 

if"  '^ 

11  !\'^^^ 













was  about  to  fall,  there  would  be  torrents  of  blood. 
The  weddings  took  place  on  the  18th,  and  for  four 
days,  or  rather  nights,  the  court  madly  danced  or 
played  the  buffoon.  One  night  they  acted  in  mas- 
querade an  Italian  play,  The  Mystery  of  the  Three 
Worlds.  Paradise  filled  with  nymphs  was  attacked  by 
the  two  young  Protestant  princes,  and  defended  by 
the  king  and  his  brothers,  who,  at  the  pikers  point 
drove  the  assailants  off  to  the  shores  of  hell,  where  the 
devils  kept  them  imprisoned  for  a  whole  hour  while 
their  conquerors  danced  with  the  nymphs.  Then  the 
combat  recommenced,  explosions  of  gunpowder  took 
place  on  all  sides,  the  smoke  and  sulphurous  stench 
putting  the  whole  company  to  flight. 

Thus  the  cat  played  with  the  mice,  almost  telling 
its  victims  the  fate  intended  for  them.  This  tenebrous 
play  was  acted  between  the  18th  and  the  21st.  On 
the  22nd,  the  first  attempt  to  assassinate  Coligny  was 
made.  The  Protestant  princes  and  gentlemen  swore 
among  themselves  to  avenge  the  admiral.  The  news 
spread  through  Paris  that  the  furious  Huguenots  were 
going  to  cut  the  throat  of  the  favourite,  the  Duke  of 
Guise.  On  Saturday  the  king  was  driven  into  consent- 
ing to  the  massacre.  The  order  was  given  to  Guise 
by  Catherine  and  Anjou  at  11  p.m.,  and  at  midnight 
the  city  was  called  upon  to  arm.  Four  hours  were 
thus  occupied,  but  by  the  break  of  day  Coligny  was 
killed.  Then  came  a  moment  of  hesitation.  Catherine 
and  Anjou,  satisfied  with  the  death  of  their  great 
enemy,  would  have  drawn  back,  but  it  was  too  late. 
Guise  and  the  Paris  Catholics  were  not  to  be  defrauded. 
The  slaughter  commenced  in  the  Tuileries.  The  gay 
young  bridegrooms,  offered  their  choice  of  the  mass 
or  death,  accepted  the  former;  their  followers  were 
slaughtered.  Hunted  from  room  to  room,  forced  by 
the  royal  archers  down  the  stairs  of  the  palace,  they 


were  driven  at  last  like  a  flock  of  sheep  into  the  court- 
yard of  the  Louvre.  Here  they  were  murdered  under 
the  eyes  of  the  king,  who  either  came  or  was  dragged 
to  the  window.  These  men,  his  guests,  made  him 
pathetic  appeals.  One  of  them,  the  hero  of  Saint- 
Jean-d^Angely,  claimed  the  performance  of  his  promise 
in  a  voice  so  terrible  that  the  very  court  seemed  to  shake. 

The  king^s  brain  gave  way,  he  evidently  went  mad ; 
a  number  of  Huguenots  from  the  quartier  St.  Germain 
coming  to  the  Louvre  for  protection  were  fired  upon. 
The  king,  who  was  at  the  window,  saw  them  turn. 
'  They  fly  !  they  fly  !  ^  he  exclaimed.  '  Give  me  an 
arquebuse.'  And  takiug  a  gun  this  poor  king,  torn  by 
a  legion  of  devils,  fired  on  his  own  people  ! 

Far  from  approving  the  massacre,  the  authorities  at 
the  Hotel  de  Yille  sent  to  the  kiug  begging  him  to 
prevent  his  household,  his  princes,  and  his  servants 
from  going  on  killing  and  j)illaging.  The  king  im- 
mediately sent  an  order  to  stop  all.  But  it  was  too 
late;  all  the  bad  passions  in  the  city  were  let  loose. 
Thus  a  great  number  of  tradesmen  fell  victims  to  the 
unparalleled  opportunity  of  getting  rid  of  competitors 
without  fear  of  the  consequences.  The  Parisian  Pro- 
testants were  for  the  most  part  shoemakers,  book- 
sellers, binders,  hatters,  weavers,  pin-makers,  barbers, 
armourers,  dealers  in  second-hand  clothes,  coopers, 
watchmakers,  jewellers,  carpenters,  gilders,  button- 
makers,  ironmongers.  However,  the  lists  of  the  miss- 
ing on  this  terrible  occasion  show  how  Calvinism  had 
drawn  into  its  ranks  the  most  illustrious  artists  in 
France.  Jean  Goujon  (1515-1572),  one  of  the  greatest 
sculptors  France  has  produced,  came,  on  St.  Bartholo- 
mew's day,  to  his  end.  Tradition  says  he  was  shot 
while  at  work  on  a  scaffold  in  the  Louvre.  Claude 
Goudimel  (1510-1572)  was  among  the  victims  at 
Lyons.     He  was  one  of  the  first  musicians  of  his  time 


and  did  a  great  work  in  setting  the  Huguenot  psalter 
to  music. 

After  such  a  Sunday's  work  as  that  of  the  24th  of 
August,  1572,  the  murderers  were  somewhat  fatigued; 
besides,  both  the  city  and  royal  authorities  said  stop. 
Not  so  the  religious  bigots.  Suddenly  the  bells  were 
heard  ringing  from  church  to  church.  It  was  the  tocsin, 
that  appeal  to  popular  fury  so  common  in  the  free  cities 
of  Flanders  and  Italy.  The  massacre  re-opened  with 
a  new  and  peculiar  atrocity.  Neighbours  killed  neigh- 
bours, women  with  child  were  ripped  open,  fathers 
were  slaughtered  with  their  little  ones  hanging  to 
their  knees,  infants  were  seized  by  the  neck  and 
thrown  like  blind  kittens  into  the  river ;  the  Seine,  in 
fact,  was  the  grand  receptacle  for  the  dead.  The  air 
was  full  of  frightful  cries,  sudden  shrieks,  pistol  shots, 
bursting  of  doors,  the  howling  of  the  mob  as  they 
dragged  a  corpse  to  the  river. 

This  was  the  fate  of  the  illustrious  Ramus,  who  was 
only  put  to  death  on  the  third  day  of  the  massacre,  the 
26th  of  August.  Paid  assassins  forced  the  College  of 
Prasles,  and  found  him  in  his  study  on  the  fifth  floor. 
They  hardly  allowed  him  a  moment  of  prayer  before 
they  fired  on  him  and  ran  him  through  with  a  sword. 
Then  they  threw  him  out  of  window  into  the  court 
below,  and  dragged  the  body  by  a  cord  to  the  river. 
There  it  is  said  to  have  been  decapitated,  and,  after 
floating  in  the  river,  dragged  to  the  shore,  where  it 
lay  exposed  to  every  indignity. 

Seeing  the  popularity  of  the  massacre,  the  king  was 
now  induced  to  claim  all  its  credit;  so,  on  the  26th, 
he  went  down  to  the  Parliament,  and  said,  '  It  was  I 
who  ordered  the  massacre.'  Upon  this  adventurers, 
more  or  less  authorized,  departed  for  the  provinces, 
where  in  the  various  cities  they  constituted  themselves 
directors    of    systematic    murder   and   pillage.       The 


Protestants  were  tlirowu  into  prison^  then  massacred. 
In  some  places  the  local  authorities  superintended ; 
generally  they  stood  aside  ;  sometimes  they  resisted. 

While  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  massacre  was 
exactly  what  the  leaders  of  the  Catholic  party  in 
Europe  had  desired  for  years,  it  would  be  unjust  to 
hold  the  great  bulk  of  the  French  clergy  and  laity 
responsible.  The  Bishop  of  Lisieux  absolutely  re- 
fused to  permit  a  massacre  of  Huguenots  in  his 
diocese,  and  gave  the  king's  lieuteuant  a  written  dis- 
charge to  that  effect.  The  Catholics  on  the  banks  of 
the  Rhone  shuddered  to  see  the  river  blotted  with 
corpses,  and  cried  to  God  against  the  assassins. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  the 
representative  of  law,  but  not  of  justice,  established  a 
fete  in  honour  of  the  holy  work  done  on  this  blessed 
day  of  Saint  Barthelmy.  Moreover,  they  found 
Coliguy  the  guilty  cause  of  it  all,  and  condemned 
him  to  be  dragged  through  the  mire  and  hanged. 
His  effigy  was  suspended  on  the  Place  de  Greve,  while 
his  scorched,  mutilated  remains  were  hanged  in  a 
ludicrous  position  at  Montfaugon.  The  king  and  the 
court  went  there  to  mock  and  ridicule.  They  had  the 
incredible  inhumanity  to  take  Coligny's  two  sons  to 
look  at  their  father's  corpse.  The  elder  began  to  sob, 
but  the  youDger  gazed  steadily.  Perhaps  he  dimly 
foresaw  what  after  ages  admit,  viz.  that  Coliguy  is 
one  of  the  noblest  figures  in  the  whole  history  of 


After  St.  Bartholomew. 

Henry  IV.  often  related  to  his  most  intimate  friends 
that  eight  days  after  the  massacre  a  number  of  ravens 


gatlierecl  about  tlie  flag  on  the  Louvre.  Their  noise 
brought  every  one  to  look  at  them,  and  the  women 
communicated  their  fright  to  the  king.  That  same 
nighty  two  hours  after  going  to  bed,  Charles  IX. 
sprang  up,  had  the  people  of  his  chamber  called,  and 
among  others  his  brother-in-law,  that  they  might  hear 
a  tremendous  noise  in  the  air,  a  concert  of  voices^ 
screaming,  groaning,  howling,  just  like  that  heard  on 
the  night  of  the  massacre.  These  sounds  were  so 
distinct  that  the  king,  believing  some  fresh  disorder 
had  broken  out,  sent  his  guards  through  the  city  to 
prevent  murder.  But  having  brought  back  word  that 
the  city  was  in  peace,  and  the  air  only  troubled,  he 
also  remained  troubled,  principally  because  the  noise 
continued  for  seven  days  at  the  same  hour. 

These  sights  and  sounds,  which,  in  the  midst  of  a 
court  the  dupes  of  sorcerers  and  astrologers,  a  guilty 
conscience  imagined,  were  a  real  and  awful  foreboding 
of  judgment  to  come.  The  Louvre  and  the  represen- 
tatives of  Charles  IX.  and  his  court  would  surely  see 
it  realized.  For  a  time,  however,  Charles  was  in  a 
full  tide  of  glory.  The  pope  chanted  the  Tc  Deum, 
and  sent  him  the  golden  rose.  Two  months  after  the 
massacre,  Queen  Elizabeth  stood  godmother  to  his 
infant  daughter;  six  months  later  on,  William  of 
Orange  recognised  him  as  Protector  of  Holland,  and 
king  of  whatever  he  could  conquer  in  the  Low 
Countries,  the  Taciturn's  brother,  Louis  of  Nassau, 
working  to  make  him  Emperor  of  Germany  and  his 
brother  King  of  Poland.  But  what  seemed  most  of 
all  to  cover  him  with  glory  was  the  visible  jealousy  of 
Philip  XL  and  the  Duke  of  Alva.  They  were  enraged 
to  think  that  beside  Charles  they  appeared  feeble  and 
vacillating.  Yet  the  King  of  Prance  was  to  the  last 
degree  wretched  and  miserable.  His  face  had  become 
pale  and  haggard,  his  eyes  jaundiced  and  menacing; 


lie  talked  constantly  of  killing.  To  distract  his  melan- 
choly, lie  had  parties  of  pleasure  at  the  places  of 
public  execution,  and  spent  his  nights  in  riots.  A 
year  of  this  life,  and  he  was  in  his  grave,  glad  on  his 
own  account,  as  well  as  for  France,  that  he  left  no 
posterity.  For  the  state  of  the  country  soon  assured 
him  that,  however  much  he  might  have  frightened 
foreigners  by  the  apparent  strength  of  the  blow, 
his  own  people  were  for  ever  alienated.  One  of  the 
first  results  was  that  the  Protestants  in  self-defence 
began  to  form  themselves  into  a  distinct  political 

A  number  of  pastors  and  gentlemen  met  at  Mon- 
taubau,  and  drew  up  the  plan  of  a  confederation. 
Each  Protestant  city  was  to  name  a  council  of  a 
hundred  persons,  without  distinction  of  class,  to  direct 
all  their  affairs:  justice,  police,  taxation,  and  war; 
and  these  councils  were  to  elect  a  general  head. 
Moderation  and  gentleness  were  to  be  shown  towards 
pacific  Catholics,  but  those  in  arms  were  to  be  treated 
with  the  utmost  rigour.  The  Duke  of  Alva^s  recipe, 
*  A  good  salmon  is  worth  a  hundred  frogs,'  showed  his 
ignorance  of  the  genius  of  the  Reformation.  Appeal- 
ing to  the  individual  conscience,  it  made  men ;  the 
little  became  great. 

Nothing  could  exceed  the  bravery  shov/ii  at  the 
siege  of  Sancerre.  Rather  than  submit,  the  beleaguered 
citizens  ate  slugs,  moles,  bread  made  of  ground  straw 
and  crushed  slate;  they  cooked  the  harness  of  their 
horses,  and  even  old  parchments.  At  La  Rochelle 
the  courage  of  the  besieged  was  remarkable  even  in 
that  age  of  marvellous  endurance.  At  low  water, 
women  and  ministers,  and  even  children,  might  be 
seen  in  the  water  under  fire  trying  to  set  light  to  the 
royal  vessels.  Under  their  brave  on  aire,  Jacques 
Henri,  they  refused  to  submit,  and  finally  preserved 


the  city,  as  a  sort  of  Protestant  republic,  in  the 
face  of  the  Catholic  monarchy.  These  brave  and 
successful  defences  so  inspired  the  Protestants  that 
they  met  in  confederation  at  Montauban  in  1573,  and 
demanded  all  that  had  been  accorded  by  the  treaty 
of  1570. 

Meanwhile  new  maxims  on  law  and  political  liberty 
were  gaining  ground  among  Catholics,  and  a  political 
party,  under  the  Duke  of  Alencon,  was  formed,  with 
which  the  Huguenots,  in  December,  1573,  formed  a 
league.  This  alliance  proved  full  of  difficulties.  The 
religious  Calvinists,  mostly  tradesmen,  regarding 
religious  objects  as  of  the  first  importance,  were  slow 
to  fight,  but  when  they  began,  did  not  wish  to  lay 
down  their  arms  until  the  end  was  attained.  The 
political  malcontents,  mainly  noblemen,  were  ready  to 
take  up  arms  on  the  first  occasion,  and  equally  ready 
to  sacrifice  religious  objects  to  political  ones.  How- 
ever, the  alliance  was  so  powerful,  that,  to  dissolve  it, 
the  court  offered  both  parties  favourable  terms.  To 
the  Protestants,  free  exercise  of  religion  all  over  the 
kingdom,  Paris  alone  excepted ;  admission  to  public 
employment ;  mixed  chambers  in  the  parliaments, 
securing  equal  justice;  eight  places  of  safety;  right 
of  opening  schools  and  convoking  synods ;  rehabilita- 
tion of  the  memory  of  Coligny ;  and  re-establishment 
of  Navarre  and  Conde  in  their  rights. 

The  treaty,  signed  at  Chastenoy,  May  6th,  1576, 
gave  great  umbrage  to  the  Catholic  portion  of  the 
nation.  In  the  States- General  held  in  that  year,  the 
three  orders  demanded  that  all  Protestants,  ministers, 
deacons,  overseers,  and  schoolmasters,  should  be  com- 
pelled to  quit  the  kingdom,  or  be  made  guilty  of  a 
capital  offence.  France  was  distinctly  divided  into 
two  nations. 



New  Dangers. 

The  Huguenots  again  took  up  arms,  the  religious 
party  among  tliem  being  by  far  the  most  determined. 
The  Huguenot  lords,  although  besought  by  Beza  to 
lay  their  heads  on  the  block  rather  than  allow  the 
Word  of  God  to  be  limited,  would  not  listen  to  the 
consistories,' but  signed  a  peace  in  September,  1577, 
by  which  the  exercise  of  the  Reformed  religion  was 
restricted  to  certain  places,  and  all  Protestants  excluded 
from  public  employ. 

The  levity  of  the  nobles  was  all  through  these 
strusfo-les  the  weak  element  in  the  Protestant  cause. 
Dominating  it  by  their  position,  they  yielded  at  the 
least  seduction  or  at  any  unusual  fatigue.  During 
forty  years  among  all  the  Protestant  martyrs  only 
three  noblemen  are  found.  And  yet  under  Henry  II. 
they  had  joined  the  canse  of  Reform  in  crowds.  It 
passes  all  belief  that  within  six  years  of  the  Massacre 
of  St.  Bartholomew,  Catherine  de  Medici  should  have 
been  able  to  visit,  accompanied  by  her  flying  squadron 
of  fallen  women,  the  Protestant  court  of  the  King  of 
Navarre,  and  that  Iluofuenot  lords  and  Catholic  courte- 
sans  should  have  carried  on  the  hypocritical  farce  of 
conversing  together  in  ^  the  language  of  Canaan.'*  But 
Henry  of  Navarre  was  a  type  of  the  noblemen  who 
were  Protestants  because  they  were  turbulent  and 
ambitious,  and  who,  either  personally  or  by  their  im- 
mediate descendants,  fell  away  directly  it  served  their 

Unhappy  Protestant  people  of  France,  led  by  such 
careless  worldlings,  and  that  in  the  face  of  ever- 
increasing  danger  !  The  great  conspirator  of  Europe 
was  not    dead,  and  that  vast  plot   of  which  all  the 


strings  ended  in  Madrid  was  ever  taking  new  forms. 
In  France  it  now  appeared  as  the  Holy  League.  The 
Duke  of  Guise,  the  murderer  of  Coligny,  was  its 
leader,  and  its  object  was  to  put  down  the  Eeformed 
Religion  by  terror  and  place  him  on  the  throne  of 
France.  Le  Balafre,  as  he  was  endearingly  called  in 
Paris,  played  the  part  of  Absalom,  and  grew  in  popu- 
larity just  in  the  degree  that  the  Duke  of  Anjou,  now 
Henry  III.,  declined.  To  outbid  this  formidable  rival 
the  king  himself  signed  the  articles  of  the  League,  and 
burnt  some  women  in  Paris.  But  it  was  of  no  use. 
Le  Balafre  was  carried  in  triumph  to  the  Louvre,  and 
openly  spoken  of  as  the  king  of  Paris.  Henry  III. 
grew  desperate,  and  had  him  assassinated,  kicking  his 
corpse,  just  as  he  had  kicked  that  of  Coligny.  Twelve 
days  after  Catherine  de  Medici  died,  and  Henry  III., 
abhorred  by  all  his  Catholic  subjects,  was  forced  to 
make  friends  with  the  Huguenots. 

The  last  of  the  Valois,  it  was  clear  that  the  crown 
would  devolve  on  the  Protestant  King  of  Navarre,  and 
to  prepare  the  way  that  politic  prince  issued  an  appeal 
to  the  Catholics. 

The  League  revenged  the  murder  of  the  Duke  of 
Guise.  Within  eight  months  Henry  III.  was  assassin- 
ated in  his  turn.  Nearly  every  one  of  the  criminals 
of  St.  Bartholomew  came  to  a  miserable  end. 


The  Edict  of  Nantes, 

Henry  of  Navarre  was  now  the  only  possible  King  of 
France,  but  the  Catholic  nobility  refused  allegiance 
unless  he  abjured  Protestantism.  For  decency's  sake 
he  asked  for  six  months'  delay,  during  which  time  he 
would  consent  to  instruction  in  the  Catholic  religion. 



To  hvm^  him  rapidly  to  decision^  all  liis  Catholic  fol- 
lowers deserted.  On  the  25tli  of  July^  1593,  he  con- 
verted himself,  to  translate  literally  French  idiom,  here 
strictly  applicable.  Never  did  any  action  appear  more 
worldly-wise,  never  was  any  followed  by  more  disastrous 
consequences.  It  was  the  first  step  in  the  ruin  of  the 
house  of  Bourbon  and  of  the  French  monarchy,  and, 
infinitely  more  to  be  deplored,  of  the  religious  sentiment 
in  myriads  of  sincere  minds. 

The  Protestants  at  once  learnt  that  in  the  affairs  of 
the  kingdom  of  heaven  worldly  success  means  ruin. 
Their  own  leader  King  of  France,  he  at  once  agreed 
to  the  demands  made  by  the  dominant  party  in  Rouen, 
Meaux,  Poitiers,  Agen,  Beauvais,  Amiens,  St.  Malo, 
and  Paris,  that  no  Huguenot  preaching  should  take 
place  within  their  walls,  but  must  be  confined  to  the 

To  allay  the  discontent  of  his  late  co-religionists, 
the  king  tacitly  consented  to  their  holding  political 
assemblies.  For  this  purpose  France  was  divided  into 
ten  districts,  each  of  which  named  a  deputy  to  the 
general  council,  which,  whatever  its  numbers,  was 
composed  two-fifths  of  gentlemen,  two-fifths  com- 
moners, one-fifth  pastors;  that  is,  three-fifths  men  of 
the  third  estate.  Below  this  general  council  were 
provincial  councils,  composed  of  from  five  to  seven 
members,  of  which  one  must  be  the  governor  of  a 
fortress,  and  one  a  pastor. 

The  deputies  took  an  oath  of  obedience,  and  it  was 
obligatory  on  the  members  of  the  Churches  to  respect 
the  decisions  of  the  councils.  A  permanent  fund  of 
4,500  crowns  was  contributed  by  the  faithful.  The 
council-general  received  reports  and  complaints  from 
the  provincial  councils,  and  communicated  them  to  the 

In  1597   the  Reformed  Churches   complained   that 


tliroughoufc  entire  provinces^  Burgundy  and  Picardy 
for  example,  tliere  was  no  free  exercise  of  religion; 
that  in  Brittany  tliey  liad  but  one  place  of  worship, 
in  Provence  only  two ;  that  their  members  were  mal- 
treated, stoned,  thrown  into  the  river ;  that  assemblies 
were  fired  upon  with  cannon ;  that  Bibles  were  burnt ; 
that  consolation  to  the  sick  was  forbidden;  that  children 
were  carried  off  or  baptized  forcibly  by  priests  accom- 
panied by  the  police ;  that  hostage  cities  were  taken 
away  or  dismantled ;  that  their  poor  were  neglected, 
even  where  Protestants  gave  most  to  the  common 
purse;  that  they  were  systematically  excluded  from 
office,  even  from  the  magistracy  of  the  cities ;  that 
there  was  no  justice  before  the  tribunals;  that  they 
were  made  to  pay  enormous  fines  and  subjected  to 
imprisonment  on  the  least  pretext;  that  their  dead, 
even  those  buried  in  the  chapels  of  their  ancestors, 
were  shamefully  exhumed — their  complaints,  in  fact, 
fill  a  volume. 

Such  was  the  condition  of  the  French  Protestants, 
after  three-quarters  of  a  century,  during  which  they 
had  passed  through  four  civil  wars.  But  they  had 
appealed  to  force,  and  by  its  decision  they  had  to 
abide.  As  to  Henry,  he  was  a  thorough  man  of  the 
world.  He  had  great  objects,  and  his  rule  was  bene- 
ficent. But  the  Protestants  would  have  failed  to 
secure  the  advantages  they  had  obtained,  even  under 
Charles  IX.  and  Henry  III.,  had  they  not  had  these 
political  assemblies.  Five  were  held  between  1595 
and  1597;  their  pertinacity  and  threatening  attitude, 
coupled  with  the  fact  that  he  was  closely  pressed  by 
the  Spanish  arms,  compelled  Henry  to  consent  at  last 
to  their  demands.  Finally,  after  long  and  laborious 
negotiations,  they  obtained  in  April,  1598,  the  Edict 
of  Nantes.  By  its  provisions  full  liberty  of  the  indi- 
vidual conscience  was  guaranteed,  public  worship  was 


permitted  in  all  places  where  it  was  established  in 
1597,  and  in  the  suburbs  of  all  cities;  lords  high 
justices  could  have  it  celebrated  in  their  mansions  ; 
gentlemen  of  the  second  degree  were  permitted  to 
receive  thirty  persons  to  private  worship.  All  the 
public  offices  were  opened  to  Protestants,  the  schools 
to  their  children,  the  hospitals  to  their  sick,  the  right 
to  print  books  was  accorded,  of  mixed  chambers  in 
some  of  the  parliaments,  and  a  special  chamber  of  the 
edict  was  established  in  Paris,  composed,  however, 
with  one  exception,  entirely  of  Catholics. 

Thus,  after  three-quarters  of  a  century,  during 
which  they  had  maintained  a  series  of  great  wars,  in 
which  they  had  lost,  including  those  who  had  been 
massacred,  or  put  to  death  at  the  stake  or  on  the 
gallows,  five  hundred  thousand  of  their  co-religionists, 
the  Protestants  only  obtained  permission  to  exist  and 
to  share  in  the  civil  privileges  of  their  countrymen, 
and  this  under  a  king  who  was  one  of  their  own  people. 
But  what  could  the  Reformed  Churches  do  with  such 
a  man  ?  He  belonged  to  another  sphere,  a  totally 
different  order  of  things. 

Agrippa  d^Aubigne,  whose  severe  and  inflexible 
character  often  embroiled  him  with  the  court,  tells 
how,  having  heard  that  Henry  had  threatened  to  kill 
him,  should  he  fall  into  his  hands,  he  went  immediately 
to  the  lodging  of  the  king's  mistress,  Gabrielle  d'Es- 
trees,  and  when  the  royal  carriage  arrived,  presented 
himself  among  the  flambeaux.  'Here,'  said  the  king, 
'is  Monseignetiv  d'Aubigne,'  a  very  ill-omened  title. 
However,  D'Aubigne  advanced,  and  the  king  not  only 
embraced  him,  but  told  Gabrielle  to  kiss  him,  and 
then  ordered  him  to  give  her  his  hand.  He  led  the 
lady  to  her  apartment,  where  the  king  walked  about 
talking  to  him  for  two  hours.  In  the  course  of  the 
conversation,  Henry  showed  his  visitor  the  cut  he  had 


received  shortly  before  from  a  young  pupil  of  the 
Jesuits,  who  had  tried  to  assassinate  him.  ^  Sire/  said 
the  austere  Calvinist,  '  having  only  renounced  God 
with  your  lips,  He  has  only  pierced  your  lips.  If  you 
renounce  Him  with  your  heart,  He  will  pierce  you  to 
the  heart. ^  ^  Very  fine  words/  said  Gabrielle,  '  but  not 
well  employed!^  ^True,  madame/  replied  D^Aubigne, 
'for  they  will  be  of  no  use.'  The  king,  apparently 
unaffected,  sent  for  his  infant  child,  and  put  it,  quite 
naked,  into  the  stern  old  Calvinist's  arms.  What 
could  D'Aubigne  reply  to  such  an  argument  ?  The  king 
belonged  to  one  world,  he  to  another.  The  one  repre- 
sented Nature,  the  other  Grace. 




Prosperous  but  Declining. 

At  no  period  in  French  history,  from  the  clays  of 
Henry  II.  to  those  of  Louis  XVI.,  did  the  French 
Protestants  come  so  near  the  Hebrew  ideal  of  well- 
being  as  during  the  twelve  years  of  Henry  the  Fourths 
reign.  After  the  Edict  of  Nantes  their  legal  position 
was  assured,  and  though  still  subject  to  occasional 
insult  and  injury,  it  might  be  said  with  some  show  of 
truth  that  during  this  short  period  they  sat  'every 
man  under  his  vine  and  under  his  fig  tree,  none  daring 
to  make  them  afraid.-* 

In  such  circumstances  it  was  natural  that  they 
should  prosper.  Their  industry,  thrift,  and  intelli- 
gence, energised  by  religious  faith,  and  sharpened  by 
a  long-continued  struggle  for  existence,  together  with 
their  sense  of  mutual  dependence  as  members  of  a 
persecuted  party,  were  exactly  the  conditions  which 
must  lead  to  the  acquisition  of  wealth. 

Abraham  Bosse,  whose  clever  graver  has  preserved 
for  us  the  character,  costume,  and  manners  of  the 
Louis-Treize  period,  has  a  large  and  fine  series  por- 



traying  '  Married  Life/  The  class  he  depicts  are  the 
wealthy  bourgeoisie,  the  class  to  which  the  Huguenots 
largely  belonged  ;  and  as  Abraham  Bosse  was  himself 
a  Protestant,  and  this  work  a  series  of  faithful  delinea- 
tions, it  is  fair  to  conclude  that  they  are  largely 
drawn  from  the  life  by  which  the  artist  was  surrounded. 
The  impression  of  material  comfort  they  give  is  exactly 
that  produced  by  other  Protestant  artists  of  the  time, 
especially  by  those  of  the  Netherlands. 

In  these  engravings  we  see  spacious  parlours  with 
pictures  and  instruments  of  music,  large  and  well- 
furnished  bedrooms ;  a  kitchen-scene  shows  the  ovens 
filled  with  the  comestibles.  In  one  engraving  a 
numerous  party  of  ladies  are  enjoying  a  good  dinner 
in  a  bedroom,  in  celebration  of  the  recovery  of  one  of 
their  number  from  the  perils  of  child-birth.  When 
the  engraver  gives  us  a  glimpse  into  the  farmyard,  or 
any  figures  of  the  peasantry,  it  is  in  the  same  style. 
Abundauce  is  characteristic.  All  seem  well-to-do, 
some  incline  to  be  jovial.  Compare  this  with  what  the 
monuments  of  the  time  tell  us  about  the  general  condi- 
tion of  the  French  peasantry,  and  the  diflference  is  so 
amazing  that  we  can  but  conclude  that  this  Protestant 
engraver  was  at  least  brought  up,  if  he  did  not  con- 
tinue to  live,  in  a  Land  of  Goshen. 

Instead  of  the  crossing  of  swords,  there  was  contro- 
versial warfare.  The  poorest  Calvinist  was  a  match  for 
most  of  the  Catholic  clergy,  while  a  public  disputation 
or  a  caustic  pamphlet  was  the  chief  weapon  of  the 
accomplished  layman  or  minister.  Duplessis-Mornay, 
whose  exalted  station,  inflexible  integrity,  and  great 
learning  had  won  for  him  such  a  position  that  he  was 
called  the  pope  of  the  Calvinists,  believed  to  such  a 
degree  in  the  power  of  argument,  that  he  thought  a 
controversy,  after  the  precedent  of  the  colloquy  at 
Poissy,  might   convince   Henry  of  Navarre   that   he 


ought  not  to  enter  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  The 
king  encouraged  the  delusion  at  that  time ;  but  when, 
in  1600,  Duplessis-Mornay  demanded  a  public  contro- 
versy with  Cardinal  Duperron  as  to  what  the  Fathers 
had  said  about  the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation, 
Henry  took  care  it  should  be  fruitless.  For  the  pope 
specially  interested  himself  in  it ;  and  Henry,  who 
wanted  his  sanction  to  a  divorce  from  Marguerite  de 
Valois,  was  determined  Urban  IV.  should  not  be 
vexed  by  a  Protestant  victory. 

•  In  one  of  the  first  of  his  domestic  scenes,  Bosse 
represents  a  group  of  elders  seated  round  a  table 
absorbed  in  a  grave  discussion.  Three  are  venerable- 
looking  men  in  tall  hats  and  long  beards,  two  ladies 
dignified  and  somewhat  severe.  In  another  part  of 
the  room  an  evil-looking  man  makes  love  to  the 
daughter  of  the  house,  and  one  of  the  little  ones  is 
frightening  another  with  a  great  mask.  Who  can 
doubt  that  the  artist  has  here  attempted  to  depict  a 
typical  case  ? 

For  this  passion  for  controversy  was  not  confined  to 
disputes  with  Catholics;  we  may  be  sure  that  still 
more  bitter  debates  went  on  between  the  two  great 
theological  parties  into  which  Protestantism  was 
divided.  On  the  one  hand  there  were  the  Arminians, 
who  represented  moderate  Calvinism,  and  the  Go- 
marists,  who  held  the  extreme  view  on  the  other. 
There  were  also  the  political  divisions  into  which  the 
Huguenot  party  was  divided,  a  division  existing  from 
these  times  until  the  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of 
Nantes,  broadly  expressed  by  the  words  moderate  and 
zealous,  or,  as  the  more  thorough  going  Calvinist  would 
have  said,  ^  lukewarm  and  zealous.'' 



Facilis  Descensus  Aveeni. 

Henry  IV.  being  very  ill  sent  for  Agrippa  d^Aubigne. 
After  he  had  closed  the  door,  and  had  twice  knelt 
down  and  prayed,  he  adjured  D'Aubigne  to  tell  him 
if  he  had  committed  the  sin  against  the  Holy  Ghost. 
D^Aubigne  proposed  four  tests  by  which  the  king 
might  try  his  conscience.  The  conversation,  we  are 
told,  lasted  four  hours  and  was  intermingled  with 
frequent  prayer. 

Perhaps  Henry  was  able  to  assure  himself  that  he 
was  moved  to  abjure  Protestantism  more  by  the  hope 
of  healing  the  wounds  of  his  country  than  by  a  desire 
to  grasp  the  crown  of  France;  but  his  example  had 
a  fatal  effect  on  the  younger  Huguenot  nobles,  who 
naturally  concluded  that  the  way  to  rise  in  life  was 
to  walk  in  the  footprints  of  their  royal  master.  In 
fact,  Henry^s  example  had  made  respectable  that 
worldliness  which  previously  had  worn  the  cloak  of 
conformity.  The  old  Protestant  historians  divided  the 
Calvinisfcs  at  the  opening  of  the  reign  of  Louis  XIII. 
into  four  classes  :  the  ambitious,  the  zealous,  the  judi- 
cious, and  the  timid  ;  and  for  the  first  and  last  classes, 
which  it  is  according  to  human  nature  to  suppose  were 
far  the  more  numerous,  there  was  no  easier  course 
than  to  follow  so  illustrious  an  example  as  that  of  the 
most  popular  monarch  that  ever  sat  on  the  French 

The  chances  of  defection  from  the  Eeformed  Church 
were  infinitely  increased  by  all  the  tendencies  of  French 
civilization  during  the  first  half  of  the  seventeenth 
century,  which  were  entirely  opposed  to  that  harsh 
manner  of  feeling  and  acting  and  speaking  which 
sometimes  characterized  Calvinism.     An  extreme  re- 


jSnement  was  cultivated  in  certain  high  circles.  Grace 
in  deportment,  elegance  in  dress_,  a  poetic  phraseology/ 
a  punctilious  code  of  honour,  became  prevalent  fashions. 
Duelling  was  quite  the  rage.  Readers  of  English  his- 
tory know  how  it  alarmed  James  I. ;  a  much  stronger 
man,  Cardinal  Richelieu,  tried  to  put  it  down  in  France, 
but  was  completely  defeated,  the  tide  being  too  strong. 


The  Counter-Refoemation  in  Feance. 

Such  a  time  was  propitious  for  the  advance  of  Jesuitism, 
but  very  disheartening  to  those  holding  a  creed  serious 
and  profound  as  was  that  of  Calviu.  Henry  IV.  had 
permitted  the  society  to  re-enter  France ;  it  did  more 
perhaps  by  its  general  influence  than  by  the  direct 
action  of  any  of  its  leading  members.  It  had  leavened 
the  whole  of  the  Catholic  world ;  it  was  the  soul  of  the 
counter-Reformation,  which  at  this  time  was  nearly 
everywhere     victorious.        In     Germany   and    in   the 

1  Shakespeare  has  satirised  the  affectation  of  refinement 
then  becoming  the  fashion  in  his  play  entitled  Love's  Labour 
Lost.     The  scene  is  laid  in  France,  and  the  King  of  Navarre 

says : 

'  Onr  court,  you  know,  is  haunted 
With  a  refined  traveller  of  Spain ; 
A  man  in  all  the  world's  new  fashion  planted, 

That  hath  a  mint  of  phrases  in  his  brain ; 
One  whom  the  music  of  his  own  vain  tongue 

Doth  ravish  like  enchanting  harmony ; 
A  man  of  complements,  whom  right  and  wrong 
Have  chose  as  umpire  of  their  mutiny.' 

Act.  i.  So.  1. 

As  this  play  was  first  published  in  1598,  it  is  clear  this  sorb 
of  fashion  had  come  into  vogue  during  Henry  the  Third's 


Netherlands,  tlie  very  countries  which  had  taken  the 
lead  in  the  Reformation,  all  the  world  were  hastening 
to  declare  themselves  Catholic.  The  tremendous  re- 
action was  enough  to  fill  the  most  courageous  with 

And  now  appeared  a  man  exactly  suited  to  the 
times  :  a  man  gentle,  cultured,  earnest,  serious^  and 
sweet,  but  who  nevertheless  prepared  the  way  for  the 
Jesuits  and  the  Dragonnades;  for  no  one  can  work 
for  a  cause  without  really  strengthening  its  main 
currents,  and  that  in  the  very  degree  of  his  personal 

It  was  just  two  years  before  the  Gunpowder  Plot 
that  Francois  de  Sales  came  to  Paris  and  preached 
with  great  success  in  the  court  of  Henry  IV.  A  man 
of  birth,  a  practised  lawyer  of  the  most  amiable  temper, 
moderate  in  all  things,  Francois  de  Sales  advocated  a 
reasonable  and  a  practical  piety.  So  far  from  teaching 
asceticism,  provided  the  heart  was  humble  and  devout, 
he  permitted  considerable  conformity  to  the  world  in 
action  and  demeanour,  and  did  not  require  great 
demonstrations  of  religious  fervour.  With  his  gentle, 
persuasive  voice,  his  mild,  winning  words,  his  moderate 
and  orthodox  mysticism,  his  grace,  courtesy,  and  tole- 
rance, he  was  exactly  the  preacher  to  please  a  people 
worn  out  by  the  acrid  debates  and  furious  struggles 
of  its  two  intense  and  austere  creeds.  Everybody  was 
delighted,  especially  the  ladies.  In  1608  he  published 
his  most  famous  work,  Tia  Vie  Devote.  The  success 
was  enormous.  Edition  after  edition  appeared,  some 
got  up  in  a  style  peculiarly  winning  and  attractive,  all 
the  text  being  in  running  hand,  with  flourished  and 
caligraphic  love-knots.  The  reader  could  scarcely  fail 
to  be  struck  with  the  moderate  and  reasonable  tone 
of  the  book,  and  the  acquaintance  the  author  seems 
to  have  with  all  the  difficulties  of  life.     Everything  is 

*'tA  VIE  devote:' 



dwelt  upon  in  a  briei\  complete_,  and  interesting  man- 
ner. The  doctrine  i^  entirely  and  wholly  Catholic^ 
according  to  the  teaoiing  of  the  Council  of  Trent. 
There  is  not  the  slightest  taint  in  it  of  the  evangelical 
creed.  At  the  same  time  there  is  no  passing  note  of 
controversy:  the  gospel,  as  understood  by  Luther, 
Calvin,  and  all  the  Reformers,  is  not  denied,  it  is 
simply  ignored.  Nowhere  is  this  leaving  out  of  every 
characteristic  note  of  Protestantism  more  manifest 
than  in  the  chapter  on  the  Word  of  God.  The  devotee 
is  admonished  to  hear  and  read  the  Word  of  God 
as  spoken  to  him  and  to  his  friends,  and  as  read  in 
books  of  devotion  and  the  lives  of  the  saints,  but 
his  instructor  carefully  abstains  from  mentioning  the 

The  methods  are  strictly  Catholic,  and  consist  of  the 
sacrament  of  penance,  meditation,  and  prayer.  The 
imagination  has  to  be  cultivated.  All,  however,  is 
moderate,  sweet,  tasteful,  gentle.  Thus  he  concludes  his 
chapters  on  meditation  with  such  injunctions  8jS,Faites 
le  petit  bouquet  de  devotion,  or,  Faites  le  petit  bouquet 
spirituel,  by  which  he  alludes  to  a  pretty  conceit,  in 
which  he  supposes  the  meditation  has  been  like  a 
morning  walk  in  a  beautiful  garden,  which  you  are 
loth  to  leave  without  making  a  bouquet  of  four  or 
five  of  the  most  lovely  flowers,  in  order  that  their 
fragrance  and  beautiful  forms  may  remind  you  of  the 
refreshing  scenes  with  which  you  commenced  the  day. 
Finally,  the  bishop  is  careful  to  tell  you  that  from  the 
very  outset  it  is  necessary  to  have  a  director,  and  that 
the  great  means  of  acquiring  perfection  are  obedience, 
chastity,  poverty.  Nor  can  we  doubt  that  he  would 
have  said,  in  accordance  with  all  the  teachers  of  his 
school,  ^  And  the  greatest  of  these  is  obedience.^ 

With  the  aid  of  the  excellent  Madame  de  Chantal 
he  founded  the  Order  of  the  Visitation,  one  of  those 


associations  in  wliich  holiness  wtis  souglit  through  a 
life  of  practical  benevolence. 

With  this  idea  no  one  Jias  m<^'e  identified  his  name 
than  the  friend  of  the  Bishop  of  Gene va^  Vincent  de 
Paul.  Refusing  all  wealth  and  honours^  he  devoted 
himself  to  the  immense  crowd  of  wretched  beings 
which  the  disastrous  civil  wars  had  made  more  than 
usually  numerous.  He  founded  the  Brothers  and 
Sisters  of  Charity,  he  interested  himself  in  the  welfare 
of  criminals  and  galley-slaves,  found  leisure  for  innu- 
merable missions,  made  efforts  to  reform  the  morals 
of  the  clergy,  and  did  his  utmost  to  get  virtuous 
prelates  appointed.  Men  thought  of  him  as  a  loving 
old  man,  his  arms  filled  with  infants,  whom  he-  had 
picked  up  in  his  solitary  walks  through  the  dark 
streets  of  Paris  in  the  dead  hours  of  the  night. 

In  company  with  these  two  appears  a  third — 
Pierre  de  Berulle,  the  reformer  both  of  the  monastic 
orders  and  the  secular  clergy.  For  the  first,  his 
model  was  St.  Theresa;  for  the  second,  St.  Philip 
Neri.  Pierre  de  Berulle  was  a  man,  like  De  Sales, 
of  a  singularly  sweet  manner  and  an  address  tender 
and  persuasive.  ^  If  you  want,^  said  Cardinal  Duper- 
ron,  •  to  convince  a  heretic,  bring  him  to  me ;  if  you 
want  to  convert  him,  take  him  to  M.  de  Geneve  (Fran- 
cois de  Sales)  j  ^  and  if  j^ou  want  both  to  convince  and 
convert  him,  let  him  go  to  M.  de  Berulle.'' 

What  could  the  Calvinists  do  in  the  presence  of 
such  fascinating  influences  ?  Their  austere  creed,  and 
the  exclusiveness  that  resulted  from  it,  was  no  match 
for  the  practical  piety,  rational,  moderate,  and  per- 
fectly orthodox,  inculcated  by  Francois  de  Sales ;  still 

^  The  pope  very  early  set  Fran9ois  de  Sales,  who  was 
Bishop  of  Geneva,  the  task  of  converting  Theodore  de  Beza, 
who  received  him  with  much  courtesy,  bat  their  conferences 
had  no  result. 


less  for  the  practical  benevolence,  also  rational  and 
perfectly  orthodox^  wliicli  now  made  itself  felt  every- 
where, but  especially  in  the 

'  Lonely  and  wretched  roofs  in  the  crowded  lanes  of  the  city, 
Where  distress  and   want   concealed  themselves   from   the 

sunlight,  ,       «^ 

Where  disease  and  scTrrow  in  garrets  languished  neglected.' 

How  could  they  protect  even  their  own  families  from 
the  fashion  for  the  culture  of  the  sentimental  which 
now  set  in,  and  which  naturally  prepared  every  young 
Huguenot,  who  gave  himself  or  herself  up  to  it,  to 
become  the  easy  prey  of  the  Church  that  rested  so 
much  on  this  cidture  ?  The  Calvinists  were  like 
Daedalus  in  the  Labyrinth  of  Crete  :  they  might  make 
themselves  wings  and  fly  over  these  mountains  of 
difficulty  and  these  oceans  of  despair,  but  they  were 
doomed  to  see  their  children  fall  one  after  the  other. 
Icarus  perished  because  he  flew  too  high ;  these  young 
Huguenots  because  they  had  not  faith  to  fly  at  all. 
They  thought  it  easier  to  swim  with  the  tide  than  to 
fly  against  the  wind. 

Defections  like  those  of  the  inheritor  of  the  name  of 
Henri  de  Conde,  or  of  the  daughter  of  the  Marshal  de 
Lesdiguieres,  might  be  easily  sustained,  but  it  was 
heartbreaking  to  see  the  descendants  of  such  illus- 
trious Calvinists  as  Coligny  and  Agrippa  d^Aubigno 
selling  themselves  to  the  enemy. 


In  theie  Misery  the  People  Worship  the  Devil. 

The  Calvinists  might  have  regarded  without  dismay 
the  defection  of  their  aristocratic  members,  had  they 
felt  themselves  rooted  in  the  heart  of  the  country,  had 


the  people  been  on  tlieir  side.  But  the  people, 
ignorant  and  superstitious,  and  suffering  terrible 
pri^^ations,  were  very  unfavourably  disposed  to  the 
Huguenots.  When  for  more  than  one  generation 
the  people  in  the  country  had  seen  their  cottages 
burnt,  tlieir  farmyards  fired,  their  vineyards  and  their 
corn-fields  destroyed,  and  their  orchards  turned  into 
charcoal;  when  the  people  in  the  towns  had  been 
exposed  to  sudden  assaults,  to  risings,  to  massacres — 
in  one  word,  to  the  horrors  of  civil  war  extending 
over  forty  years,  it  was  natural  that  they  should  begin 
to  curse  the  contending  parties,  and,  unaware,  in  their 
ignorauce  of  contemporary  history,  who  were  really 
the  aggressors,  should  listen  to  the  lies  afloat  con- 
cerning the  Huguenots,  and  mingle  both  parties  in  one 
common  abjuration. 

In  the  States-General  of  1614  the  third  estate 
depicted  in  moving  terms  the  horrible  condition  to 
which  the  French  peasantry  were  reduced,  who,  they 
declared,  might  be  seen  browsing  on  the  grass  like 
animals  and  with  the  animals ;  and  this  statement  they 
twice  repeat,  Guienne  and  the  Auvergne  being  specially 
mentioned  on  the  second  occasion.  The  misery  which 
such  a  statement  indicates  was  certainly  not  wholly 
due  to  these  civil  wars,  but  rather  to  the  fact  that  the 
mass  of  the  poor  were  ever  being  crushed  lower  and 
lower  by  the  unjust  system  to  which  they  were  sub- 
jected. The  burden  of  taxation  really  fell  on  them, 
for  the  poorer  the  masters  grew  the  more  they  were 
obliged  to  insist  on  their  so  called  rights,  until  their 
exactions  rendered  the  peasants  more  miserable  than 
ever.  Thus  in  the  same  States- General  the  orator  of 
the  third  estate  denounced  the  nobility  to  the  king  in 
the  most  passionate  language.  ^  Lions  and  tigers,'  he 
said,  ^  are  not  so  bad,  for  they  do  no  evil  to  those  that 
nourish  them.'     It  was  therefore  calculated  to  render 


the  Protestant  cause  still  more  unpopular  that  it  num- 
bered some  thousands  of  the  nobility  in  its  ranks. 
The  wretchedness  of  the  people  may  be  further  seen 
in  the  fact  that  at  this  time  the  worship  of  the  devil 
prevailed  in  many  parts  of  France.^ 

This  return  to  the  darkest  paganism  had  been 
known  during  the  Middle  Ages^  coming  into  greater  or 
less  prominence  according  to  the  misery  or  happiness 
of  the  times.  It  now  appeared  in  forms  less  brutal, 
but  mingled  with  insincerity,  jugglery,  and  sacrilegious 
trickery.  This  long  fighting,  this  murdering  in  the 
name  of  God  and  the  Church,  had  destroyed  faith ; 
and  supposed  Catholics  parodied  in  these  demoniacal 
convocations  the  rites  of  the  Church,  mimicking 
baptism,  the  elevation  of  the  host,  the  consecration  of 
priests,  etc. 

The  superstition  that  prevailed  everywhere  is  beyond 
conception.  In  the  convents  there  were  scenes  of 
dark  and  mystic  wickedness,  which  at  times  broke 
out  into  great  and  all-absorbing  scandals.  Even  the 
Calvinists,  whose  habit  of  mind  freed  them  perhaps 
more  than  any  other  religionists  from  mysticism,  were 
not  absolutely  proof  against  the  tendency  of  the 

Thus  Agrippa  d'Aubigne  relates,  apparently  be- 
lieving it,  the  miracle  of  an  old  woman  of  seventy 
receiving  power  to  suckle  an  infant  left  in  her  charge  ; 
and  he  himself  had  in  his  house  a  deaf  and  dumb 
man  who  was  able  to  give  information  concerning 
events  past  and  future.  This  ^  mute  monster,^  to  use 
the  descriptive  title  of  the  narrative,  foretold  that  the 

^  The  importance  of  this  in  any  complete  understanding  of 
the  misery  of  the  poor  at  this  period,  may  be  judged  from  the 
fact  that  Michelet  has  devoted  four  chapters  in  his  history  of 
France  to  the  terrible  superstition  prevailing  in  the  reign  of 
Louis  XIII. 



king  would  die  in  three  years  and  a  half,  with  the 
attendant  circumstances ;  also  that  La  Rochelle  would 
be  besieged  and  would  fall,  that  its  fortifications  would 
be  dismantled,  and  that  both  the  city  and  the  Protes- 
tant party  would  be  ruined. 


A  Last  Effort  at  Keconciliation. 

The  Huguenots,  however,  were  still  a  great  political 
power.  About  the  year  1600  there  were  760  parishes 
in  their  possession,  4,000  of  the  nobility  were  Calvinists, 
they  held  200  fortified  places,  and  it  was  believed  that 
they  could  put  25,000  men  in  the  field.  They  were 
then,  in  fact,  well  organized,  both  religiously  and 
politically.  It  is  evident,  however,  that  some  of  the 
more  thoughtful  among  them  began  to  doubt  if  this 
sort  of  thing  was  any  real  strength  to  a  cause  which 
they  had  believed  was_  that  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 
This  probably  explains  their  division  into  two  parties, 
the  enthusiasts  and  the  moderate,  the  zealous  and  the 
timid.  At  any  rate,  some  of  the  most  enlightened 
among  them  were  prepared  to  make  the  greatest 
sacrifices  rather  than  continue  a  system  which  they 
felt  must  end  in  their  ruin. 

In  the  last  year  of  Henry  the  Fourth^s  reign,  three 
months  before  his  death,  seven  pastors  met  in  Paris 
at  the  house  of  Pierre  Dumoulin,  the  minister  of 
the  temple  at  Charenton.  One  of  the  company  was 
Daniel  Chamier,  a  man  of  great  learning,  and  whose 
zeal  in  the  Protestant  cause  is  undoubted,  for  he  was 
killed  on  the  ramparts  during  the  siege  of  Montauban. 
These  seven  pastors  deputed  Agrippa  d^Aubigne,  who 
happened  to  arrive  at  the  time,  to  go  to  the  king  and 
tell  him  that  in  order  to  end  all  these  troubles  the 


Calvinists  would  agree  to  accept  a  reform  of  the  Churcli 
which  would  restore  it  to  what  it  was  at  the  end 
of  the  fourth  century  and  at  the  commencement  of  the 

Henry  sent  D'Aubigne  to  Cardinal  Duperron,  who 
had  just  returned  from  Rome_,  where  they  had  tried  to 
poison  him,  and  who  consequently  was  in  an  unusually 
favourable  mood  for  such  a  proposition.  He  received 
D^Aubigne  with  a  kiss  on  both  cheeks_,  and  proceeded 
to  lament  the  miseries  of  Christendom_,  asking  if  there 
were  no  means  of  doing  some  good.  D^Aubigne  did 
not  reply  at  first,  but  being  further  pressed,  he  said 
that  Guicciardini  had  pointed  out  the  way  to  proceed 
when  he  said,  referring  to  the  Church  as  well  as  the 
State,  that  good  institutions  which  had  descended  to  a 
people  from  their  ancestors  should  be  reformed  from 
time  to  time  by  being  led  back  to  their  first  institution  : 
'We  therefore  propose  to  you,  resting  as  you  do  on 
antiquity,  to  accept  for  immutable  law  the  constitutions 
of  the  Church  as  established  and  observed  in  the  fourth 
century ;  and  each  side  pointing  out  what  they  con- 
sider corrupt,  you  beginning,  as  the  elder,  it  shall  be 
reformed  according  to  this  standard.^  The  cardinal 
cried  out  that  the  Calvinist  ministers  would  disavow 
such  a  proposition;  but  on  being  assured  that  they 
would  agree  to  it,  he  remained  pensive  some  time,  and 
then  said,  '  Give  us  forty  years  more.'  D'Aubigne 
replied  that,  if  the  general  proposition  were  accepted, 
they  would  agree  to  fifty  when  the  subject  came  on 
for  discussion.  But  then  said  the  cardinal,  '  You  would 
have  to  agree  to  the  elevation  of  the  cross,  and  you 
dare  not  do  that.'  D'Aubigne  intimated  that  for  the 
sake  of  peace  this  would  be  accepted,  but  retorting  on 
the  cardinal,  he  said,  '  You  would  not  dare  to  accept 
our  first  demand,  which  would  be  to  put  the  authority 
of  the  pope  where  it  Avas  at  the  end  of  the  fourth 


century.  No/  he  continued,  '  you  would  not  dare  to 
do  that,  even  if  we  gave  you  two  hundred  years  more.'' 
The  cardinal  replied,  '  We  must  do  this  at  Paris,  even 
if  they  would  not  do  it  at  Rome/ 

Three  months  after,  the  knife  of  Ravaillac  cut  the 
thread  of  this  hopeful  negotiation,  and  the  Jesuits  more 
and  more  got  the  upper  hand. 


Persecution  Recommences. 

Elie  Benoit  relates  that  the  bailiff  of  a  certain  village 
was  requested  by  the  cure  to  compel  a  locksmith,  whose 
shop  was  opposite  the  church,  to  leave  off  singing.  As 
the  man  took  no  notice  of  the  first  summons,  the  ser- 
geant came  and,  with  every  legal  form,  repeated  the 
order.  It  was  necessary  that  the  officer  should  write 
the  locksmith^s  answer,  but  the  man  said  he  had  nothing 
to  reply.  '  I  must  put  something,^  said  the  sergeant. 
'  Oh,  well,  put  then  : 

"  Jamais  ne  cesseray 
De  magnifier  le  Seigneur; 
En  ma  bouclie  auray  son  lionneur 

Tant  que  vivaut  seray."^  ^ 

This  incident  was  one  of  the  results  of  the  law  of 
1626,  forbidding  Huguenots  to  sing  psalms  in  the 
street  or  in  their  shops.  After  the  assassination  of 
Henry  IV.  (1610),  a  persecution  began,  often  very 
small,  but  perpetual.  The  Calvinists  were  attacked  in 
their  various  rights.  The  magistracy,  mostly  Galilean, 
strove  to  prove  their  loyalty  to  Catholicism  by  render- 

*  Ps.  cxlvi.  2,  In  our  version  :  *  While  I  live  will  I  praise 
the  Lord  ;  I  will  sing  praises  unto  my  God  while  I  have  any 


ing  tlie  mixed  chambers  a  farce.  Huguenots  were  not 
allowed  to  enter  a  hospital  to  console  a  sick  brother, 
or  to  hold  their  schools  within  the  cities,  or  even  in  the 
suburbs  of  episcopal  towns. 

In  the  States-General  of  1614,  a  demand  had  been 
made  for  the  prosecution  of  Huguenots  who  prevented 
their  children  from  being  Catholics.  The  next  thing 
was  to  carry  them  off  and  shut  them  up  in  convents. 
Huguenots  could  not  take  a  corpse  to  be  buried  with- 
out being  pursued  with  cries  and  insults.  Henry  IV. 
had  known  how  to  keep  these  barbarities  in  check  ; 
but  now  the  authorities  only  moved  when  some  very 
great  commotion  occurred.  At  Tours,  the  cry  being 
raised  that  the  Huguenots  had  killed  a  child,  the  people 
rose  and  burnt  the  temple,  and  dug  up  a  body  just 
interred,  dragged  it  over  the  road,  and  tore  it  to  pieces. 
The  same  scene  was  repeated  at  Poitiers,  at  Mauze, 
and  at  Croisic.  Henceforth  the  Protestants  were 
obliged  to  bury  their  dead  at  night,  a  proceeding 
which  obtained  for  them  the  name  of  j)ar^aillois — 

VVhile  these  things  filled  the  Protestants  with  dejec- 
tion, the  reformed  monastic  orders  displayed  a  jubilant 
energy.  In  Poitou  and  Languedoc  the  Huguenots 
were  very  numerous.  The  Capuchins  covered  these 
two  provinces  with  their  missions.  The  Franciscans 
claimed  marvellous  triumphs  in  the  south-west,  also 
a  stronghold  of  Protestantism.  Father  Yillele,  of 
Bordeaux,  was  said  to  have  brought  almost  the  whole 
town  of  Foix  to  Catholicism,  and  to  have  converted 
the  very  man,  now  more  than  a  hundred  years  old, 
who  had  led  into  Foix  the  first  Protestant  preacher, 
sent  there  by  Calvin.  The  Jesuits  were  everywhere 
making  extraordinary  progress  and  winning  golden 
opinions  by  their  fraternities  of  the  Virgin,  who  nursed 
the   sick   and   wounded   in   the   war.      The    Catholic 


Churcli  Lad  iu  fact  completely  imbibed  their  spirit^ 
aud  tlie  work  of  conversion  was  pnslied  on  by  every 
means^  fair  or  foul. 


Going  down  to  Egypt  for  Help. 

Habit^  wo  know,  is  a  second  nature^  and  forty  years' 
more  or  less  fighting  had  made  recourse  to  the  sword 
only  too  natural.  Thus  some  of  the  Huguenot  pastors 
were  among  the  most  ready  for  violent  measures. 
Pierre  Beraud  published,  in  1626_,  a  famous  tract,  in 
which  he  taught  that  ministers  of  religion  might  carry 
arms  and  shed  blood.  Sentiments  of  this  kind  brought 
them  naturally  into  union  with  the  turbulent  nobility, 
whom  it  is  difficult  to  credit  with  much  better  motives 
than  the  maintenance  of  their  own  position  and  the 
aggrandisement  of  their  family.  The  more  powerful 
among  them  professed  themselves  to  be  the  champions 
of  the  Huguenots,  using  the  influence  they  thus  ob- 
tained for  their  own  advancement. 

In  1611,  the  nobility  of  the  Dauphine  attempted 
to  get  the  entire  management  of  Protestant  aSairs 
in  that  district.  ^  As  to  the  synod  belongs  the  direc- 
tion of  ecclesiastical  affairs,  to  us,^  they  said,  '  belongs 
the  direction  of  political  affairs. ''  Their  aim,  or  at 
least  their  tendency,  was  always  to  an  aristocratic 

And  this  belief  in  the  advantage  of  fighting  under 
the  ^gis  of  some  powerful  nobleman  was  so  ingrained 
in  the  Huguenots  that  it  came  to  be  a  sort  of  sacred 
tradition  that  the  Reformed  Churches  must  have  a  pro- 
tector at  court.  Under  this  fatal  notion  the  Huguenots, 
a  few  years  after  the  death  of  Henry  IV.,  accepted  as 
their   leader    a   bigoted    Catholic,  whose    interest  in 


their  cause  was  that  for  the  momeut  it  assisted  his 
projects.  The  Prince  de  Conde,  the  representative  of 
the  younger  branch  of  the  Bourbons,  made  himself,  in 
1614,  the  mouthpiece  of  all  the  grievances  in  the  king- 
dom ;  among  other  things  he  complained  that  the  Edict 
of  Nantes  was  not  observed.  He  and  his  friends  made 
themselves  so  dangerous  that  the  court  bought  them. 
Conde  received  450,000  livres  for  the  expenses  he  had 
been  at,  the  Duke  o£  Longueville  a  pension  of  100,000 
livres,  the  Duke  of  Mayenne  100,000  livres  and  the 
reversion  of  the  government  of  Paris,  the  Duke  of 
Bouillon  other  pecuniary  advantages.  The  latter  was 
a  Protestant. 

This  movement  having  proved  so  advantageous, 
Conde  soon  issued  another  manifesto,  in  which  he  ap- 
pealed for  support  to  the  Gallicans  and  the  Huguenots. 
He  wrote  to  the  Protestant  assembly  at  Grenoble,  and 
that  body,  not  only  welcomed  his  advances,  but  begged 
the  court  to  listen  to  his  remonstrances,  to  declare  the 
majority  of  the  king,  and  bring  to  justice  those  who 
had  murdered  Henry  IV.  Condons  army  was  directed 
by  the  Protestant  Duke  of  Bouillon,  and  the  Grenoble 
assembly  transferred  itself  to  Nimes,  where,  by  the 
intervention  of  the  Duke  of  Kohan,^  who  had  joined 
the  prince,  a  treaty  was  concluded  in  September,  1615, 
between  the  assembly  and  their  Catholic  leader.  The 
duke  also  obtained  the  adherence  of  his  father-in-law. 
Sully,  the  great  finance  minister  of  Henry  IV. 

Conde,  however,  signed  a  truce  the  following  January, 

^  Henri  de  Eohan,  the  represeutabive  of  one  of  the  chief 
families  in  France,  was  the  son  of  an  heroic  mother,  whose 
devotion  to  the  Reformation  places  her  among  that  list  of 
heroines  which  is  one  of  the  real  glories  of  France.  The 
duke  himself  was  the  most  earnest  and  sincere  of  all  the  war- 
like leaders  of  the  time.  He  was  a  partisan  leader  of  the 
highest  order. 


and  commenced  to  negotiate.  The  assembly  having 
transferred  itself  to  La  Rochelle,  resolutely  stood  out 
for  its  own  conditions.  The  prince^  however,  ignored 
its  pretensions,  and  signed  a  peace,  saying, '  Those  who 
will  not  do  as  I  shall  be  made  to  do  it/  Thus  the 
Huguenots  got  no  advantage  for  all  their  efforts  beyond 
a  confirmation  of  the  privileges  they  already  enjoyed, 
and  a  declaration  that  when  the  king,  in  his  coronation 
oath,  swore  to  extirpate  heretics,  it  did  not  refer  to 
his  subjects  of  the  Reformed  religion  living  under 
the  protection  of  his  edicts.  Conde,  on  the  other 
hand,  was  to  have  one  million  and  a  half  livres  for  his 
expenses  ;  altogether  Richelieu  reckoned  that  this  war 
cost  the  king  six  millions,  and  the  country  twenty 
millions  more.  The  advantage  Conde  obtained  for  the 
people  was  the  re-establishment  of  the  salt  tax,  sup- 
pressed in  1610.  Well  might  they  say,  ^  What  have 
we  to  do  with  the  quarrels  of  the  great  ?  Let  them 
settle  it  among  themselves,  we  will  not  mix  ourselves 
up  with  it.  We  know  too  well  how  they  treat  their 


Jesuit  Coup  d^Etat  in  Bearn. 

The  drama  proceeds  with  all  the  certainty  of  a  decree 
of  predestination.  The  royal  power  is  bound  to  attain 
the  unification  of  the  country  and  the  suppression  of 
everything  dangerous  to  its  authority;  the  Jesuits 
cannot  rest  in  the  counter-Reformation  which  at  this 
moment  was  just  reaching  its  crisis,  all  being  ready 
for  the  springing  of  the  mine  and  the  storming  and 
capture  of  the  citadel.  The  Calvinists,  on  the  other 
hand,  were  everywhere  arriving  at  their  final  goal. 
Geneva  and  the   Netherlands  were  already  republics ; 


the  Protestauts  of  England,  France,  and  even  Germany, 
were  nearer  the  same  form  of  government  than  they 
imagined.  A  collision  between  the  two  forces  was 
inevitable,  and  the  resnlt  was  equally  inevitable.  The 
party  which  everywhere,  and  by  every  means,  was 
growing  weaker,  must  yield  to  the  party  which  every- 
where, and  by  every  means,  was  growing  stronger ;  the 
weakest  must  go  to  the  wall. 

The  first  blow  was  struck  in  France.  When  Beam 
became  Protestant,  the  ecclesiastical  property  was 
used  to  support  the  Reformed  faith.  However,  the 
Catholic  clergy  did  not  cease  to  claim  it,  though  the 
government  was  deaf  to  their  complaints,  fearing  the 
resentment  of  the  Huguenots,  who  regarded  Beam  as 
a  second  Geneva.  But  now  the  time  had  come ;  the 
Jesuit  Cotton,  the  friend  of  De  Sales,  gave  place  to  a 
more  violent  type  of  his  society,  the  Jesuit  Arnoux, 
who  induced  Louis  the  Thirteenth's  minister,  the  Duke 
of  Luynes,  to  issue  a  decree  establishing  the  Catholic 
religion  in  Beam.  The  decree  was  to  take  effect  in 
September,  1617.  The  commotion  excited  was  great. 
A  Protestant  assembly  met  at  Orthes,  and  was  sup- 
ported by  the  Parliament  at  Pau,  who  declared  such 
a  change  could  not  be  made  without  its  consent.  The 
Orthes  assembly  obtained  the  convocation  of  a  general 
assembly  at  LaRochelle,  which  met  in  December,  1617. 
This  proceeding,  opposed  by  the  politicians,  was  sup- 
ported by  the  pastors. 

Intestine  warfare  in  the  court  delayed  for  a  time 
the  conclusion  of  the  royal  work  in  the  Beam  ;  the 
queen-mother  was  struggling  against  the  favourite, 
Luynes.  Unfortunately  the  Huguenots,  indignant 
with  Luynes,  allowed  themselves  to  be  drawn  into 
supporting  Marie  de  Medici.  A  surprise  at  Les 
Ponts  de  Ce  routed  her  party,  and  the  court  made  up 
their  quarrels^  leaving  the  Huguenots  in  the  attitude 


of  rebels.  The  king  ufc  once  proceeded  against  Bearn^ 
wliere  lie  made  an  easy  entry,  owing  to  the  discord  of 
its  two  factions  of  Beaumont  and  of  Grammont.  He 
compelled  the  Parliament  of  Pan  to  register  the 
decree  returning  the  ecclesiastical  property  to  the 
Catholic  clergy,  and  at  the  same  time  united  Beam 
and  Lower  Navarre  to  the  kingdom  of  France  (Oct., 

The  passage  of  the  royal  troops  was  marked  by 
many  outrages  against  the  ^  cursed  religion/  as  they 
named  the  Reformed  faith.  The  temples  were  burst 
open,  and  the  tables  on  which  the  commandments  were 
written  pulled  down.  The  peasants  were  beaten,  the 
Reformed  compelled  to  make  the  sign  of  the  cross 
and  kneel  down  as  the  host  passed.  All  this  was  done 
under  the  king's  eyes ;  elsewhere  the  soldiers  did  as 
they  liked.  The  king,  they  said,  had  given  them  leave 
to  pillage  the  Huguenots.  They  drove  away  the 
pastors,  outraged  the  women,  and  forced  the  people  to 
mass  by  aid  of  a  cudgel.  It  was  the  first  symptom  of 
the  Dragonnades. 


The  Huguenot  Commonwealth  at  La  Rochelle. 

The  Protestants  throughout  the  kingdom  saw  in  these 
tyrannical  proceedings  the  coming  despotism  in 
Church  and  State ;  and  in  the  general  assembly  which 
met  at  La  Rochelle  in  1621,  the  party  called  ^the 
zealous '  predominated.  Under  their  impulse  the 
assembly  planned  a  complete  organization  of  Protes- 
tant Prance.  The  aristocratic  leaders  held  aloof,  but 
the  ^  zealous  ^  accused  them  of  desertion,  and  threat- 
ened to  give  them  up  as  leaders.  De  Rohan,  stung  with 
this  reproach,  united  himself  to  the  assembly,  and  so 


did  his  brother,  Soubise  ;■'•  other  noblemen  soon  fol- 

■  The  king  advanced  towards  the  Loire  in  April, 
1621,  backed  in  the  war  he  was  about  to  wage  by  the 
clergy  of  the  Roman  Chnrch.  The  pope  offered  two 
hundred  thousand  crowns  on  condition  the  Huguenots 
Avere  brought,  willingly  or  unwillingly,  into  the  fold  of 
the  Church;  the  cardinals  off'ered  a  similar  sum,  and 
the  priests  a  million. 

To  the  edict  which  the  king  launched  against  the 
assembly,  it  replied  by  a  manifesto  in  which  it  justi- 
fied the  war,  and  by  a  plan  orga,nizing  Protestant 
France  under  military  leaders.  This  organization, 
though  it  never  got  as  a  whole  beyond  paper,  is  very 
important,  as  marking  the  extreme  point  to  which  the 
Huguenots  arrived  politically  ;  and  although  they  kept 
up  the  form  of  doing  all  ^  under  very  humble  subjec- 
tion to  the  king  given  by  God,^  it  is  clear  that  they 
were  on  the  same  road  as  that  which,  a  few  years  later, 
led  the  English  Puritans  to  a  commonwealth. 

Protestant  France  was  to  be  divided  into  eight 
military  governments,  each  under  the  rule  of  a  com- 
mander appointed  by  the  assembly,  the  whole  to  be 
directed  by  a  general-in- chief.  This  general  was  to 
have  a  council  composed  of  the  lords  of  his  army  and 
three  deputies  from  the  assembly.  Each  commander 
was  to  have  a  council  of  lords,  with  three  deputies 
from  the  provincial  assembly  of  his  district.  The 
general  assembly  reserved  to  itself  the  right  of  making 
peace.  The  resources  of  the  war  were  to  be  obtained 
from  the  royal  and  ecclesiastical  goods.    The  discipline 

^  The  Duke  of  Soubise  always  did  as  his  brother,  until  the  fiual 
ruin  of  the  Protestants  as  a  political  party,  when  he  fled  to 
England,  where  he  died  in  16i2,  and  was  buried  in  Westmin- 
ster Abbey  by  order  of  Charles  I. 


and  morality  of  the  troops  were  to  be  preserved  by  the 
presence  of  pastors  attached  to  the  armies,  and  by  the 
rigid  exclusion  of  all  women.  A  map  of  the  arrange- 
ment would  give  some  idea  of  the  great  inequality  of  the 
divisions  of  the  numbers  of  the  Protestants  in  diflferent 
parts  of  the  country.  In  a  general  way  it  may  be 
said  that  they  were  strong  in  the  west^  the  south, 
and  the  south-east ;  but  weak  in  the  north,  north-east, 
and  central  France ;  and  it  is  much  the  same  in  the 
present  day.  La  Rochelle  and  Montauban  were  their 
strongest  places.  The  first  the  assembly  kept  under 
its  own  control,  and  that  of  the  magistrates  of  the 
city.  Montauban  was  committed  to  their  most  trusty 
lieutenant,  the  Duke  of  Rohan. 

The  Protestants  met  with  a  series  of  misfortunes. 
Bouillon  and  Lesdiguieres  refused  their  commands,  the 
latter  entering  the  royal  army.  Saumur  was  taken 
by  a  fraud  out  of  the  hands  of  Duplessis-Mornay  ; 
La  Force  was  driven  from  Beam  ;  St.  Jean  d'Angely, 
called  the  bulwark  of  La  Rochelle,  was  taken  in  three 
weeks  ;  the  Protestant  fortresses  were  delivered  up  by 
their  governors  ;  in  Lower  Guienne  all  the  Protestant 
towns  except  Clairac  opened  their  gates  to  the  royal 
army,  and  that  town  was  taken  in  twelve  days,  its 
consuls  and  a  pastor  being  hanged. 

The  conquering  army  was  at  last  stopped  by  Mon- 
tauban. The  siege  commenced  the  18th  of  August, 
1621,  and  continued  two  months  and  a  half.  The  tliie 
of  the  French  nobility  accompanied  the  king ;  but  no 
impression  was  made,  and  the  bad  season  coming  on 
they  had  to  raise  the  siege  and  go  home.  The 
evening  before^  a  Huguenot  soldier  in  the  royal  army 
began  to  play  on  his  flute  the  commencement  of 
the  Huguenot  battle  hymn,  the  sixty-eighth  psalm. 
The  besieged  city  heard  the  musical  message,  and 
comprehended    that   their    deliverance    was   at  hand. 


Aud  the  reader  will  the  better  understand  how  that 
flute  did  all  that  science  can  do  by  telegraph  cypher, 
telegram,  or  telephone,  and  what  was  the  secret  in- 
spiration of  the  Huguenot  resistance,  if  we  venture 
on  a  literal  translation  of  the  first  words  of  the  para- 
phrase : 

'  Let  God  only  arise,  and  suddenly  will  be  seen 
The  enemy's  camp  break  up  to  abandon  the  place. 
And  His  haters  flying  in  all  parts  before  His  face. 
God  will  make  them  all  fly  away, 
As  one  sees  fade  into  nothing 
A  cloud  of  smoke  ; 
As  wax  before  the  fire, 
So  the  strength  of  the  wicked 
Is  consumed  before  the  Lord.'^ 


Huguenot  Learning  and  Methods  of  Education. 

{First  half  of  til c  seventeenth  centunj.) 

In  the  midst  of  all  this  turmoil,  side  by  side  with 
these  spurred  and  booted  warriors,  we  see  everywhere 
learned  and  thoughtful  students.  Unfortunately,  much 
of  this  learning  was  spent  on  controversial  theology, 
the  famous  Synod  of  Dort  (1618-1G19)  having,  by  its 
forcible  suppression  of  the  followers  of  Arminius, 
greatly  accentuated  Protestant  divisions.  Several  of 
the  Dutch  Arminians  fled  to  France,  where  they  found 
sympathisers  among  the  Huguenots.  However,  at 
least  two  of  the  most  eminent  among  the  pastors, 
Dumoulin  and  Rivet,  were  Calvinists  of  the  severer 

Pierre  Dumouliu  (1568-1658)  was  saved  from  the 

^  See  Appendix. 


massacre  of  Sfc.  Bartliolomew,  a  child  four  years  of  age. 
At  thirty-one  he  became  pastor  of  Charenton.  In 
1621  he  was  driven  by  the  Jesuits  from  Paris,  and 
took  refuge  at  Sedan.  Amongst  his  principal  writ- 
ings were  a  Defence  of  the  Reformed  Churches  of 
France,  TJie  Buckler  of  the  Faith,  and  Tlie  Anatomy 
of  ilie  Mass.  Dumoulin  lived  to  be  ninety  years  of 
age.  The  joy  with  which  he  quitted  life,  while  it 
proves  his  ardent  piety,  suggests  also  the  depressing 
nature  of  the  conflict  in  which  he  had  borne  a  leading 
part.  ^  Oh,  how  good  you  are  ! '  he  said  to  those  who 
told  him  he  was  going  to  die.  '^Kind  Death,  how 
welcome  thou  art  !  How  happy  shall  I  be  to  see  my 
God,  to  whom  I  have  so  long  aspired  ! ' 

Andre  Rivet  (1572-1651)  was  a  leading  man  at  this 
time,  presiding  in  1617  at  the  national  synod  held  at 
Vitre.  He  quitted  France  in  1619,  and  became  a 
professor  of  theology  in  Holland.  He  wrote  an  Intro- 
duction to  the  Study  of  the  Bible,  in  which  he  rests 
Biblical  criticism  on  grammar  and  philology  rather 
than  on  allegorical  interpretation. 

John  Cameron  (1579-1625),  a  Scotchman  by  birth, 
was  first  pastor  at  Bordeaux,  and  then  succeeded 
Gomar,  the  great  defender  of  extreme  Calvinism,  as 
professor  of  theology  at  Saumur.  He  was,  however, 
of  another  school,  and  even  attacked  the  writings  of 
Theodore  de  Beza.  Cameron  was  much  honoured,  the 
national  synod  of  Castres  voting  a  pension  to  his 
children  as  a  mark  of  respect  to  his  memory. 

Daniel  Chamier  (1565-1621)  was  one  of  the  most 
powerful  spirits  the  Huguenots  possessed.  He  dis- 
puted with  Cotton,  wrote  with  force  and  acumen 
against  Bellarmine,  and  was  president  of  the  national 
synod  of  Privas,  which  refused  to  accept  either  pardon 
or  amnesty  from  Marie  de  Medici  (161o).  His  willing- 
ness to  make  great  ecclesiastical  concessions  shows  the 


breadtli  and  humanity  of  his  learning ;  his  inflexible 
and  courageous  adherence  to  the  Protestant  cause^ 
and  at  all  risks,  shows  the  rock-like  character  of  the 
man.  '  He  was/  says  Bayle,  ^  as  odious  to  authority 
as  he  was  dear  to  the  Churches.'  He  was  killed  by  a 
cannon  ball  on  the  ramparts  of  Montauban  (1021), 
where  he  went  every  day  to  encourage  and  exhort  the 

Benjamin  Basnage  (1580-1652),  Garissoles  (1587- 
1650),  and  Jean  Mestrezat  (1562-1657),  all  appear  to 
have  been  men  of  courage  and  zealous  for  the  cause. 
Mestrezat  was  appointed  pastor  of  Charenton  when 
quite  a  youth.  In  an  audience  he  had  with  Louis 
XIII.,  Eichelieu  asked  him  how  it  was  the  Protestants 
had  pastors  who  were  not  French.  'It  is  much  to 
be  wished,'  said  Mestrezat,  '  that  many  of  the  Italian 
monks  now  in  France  had  as  much  zeal  for  his 
majesty  as  these  foreign  pastors,  who  recognise  no 
other  sovereign  than  the  king.'  Richelieu  struck  him 
on  the  shoulder,  saying,  '  Here  is  the  boldest  minister 
in  France.' 

The  Huguenot  pastors  of  this  time  were  men  of 
great  learning.  Louis  Cappel  (1586-1658),  professor 
at  Saumur,  was  one  of  the  first  Hebrew  scholars  of  the 
age.  Samuel  Petit  (1594-1643)  was  a  profound  orien- 
talist. He  occupied  in  1627,  at  Nimes,  the  three 
professorships  of  theology,  Greek,  and  Hebrew.  One 
day  he  heard  a  rabbi  denouncing  Christianity  in 
Hebrew,  and,  without  any  resentment,  immediately 
replied  in  Hebrew,  exhorting  the  rabbi  to  study  better 
the  faith  he  attacked.  A  cardinal  offered  to  get  him 
admission  into  the  Vatican  library,  and  to  entrust  him 
with  a  review  of  the   manuscripts;  but  he   declined, 

^  One  of  the  last  of  Chamier's  descendants  was  returned 
member  of  Parliament  for  Tam worth  in  1772. 


fearing  that  it  miglit  cost  him  liberty  of  conscience. 
He  was  of  a  gentle,  peacefal  disposition,  adverse  to  all 
controversy,  a  good  type  of  ^  the  moderate  ^  in  Hugue- 
not politics. 

This  learning  was  fostered  and  encouraged  by  a 
number  of  academies  scattered  freely  over  France. 
Sedan,  in  the  north-east,  Saumur,  in  the  north-west 
(1599),  Montauban,  towards  the  south-west  (1598), 
Die,  in  the  Dauphine  (1604),  Montpellier  (1598),  and 
Nimes  (1561),  to  the  south,  were  all  centres  of  learn- 
ing, well  supplied  with  professors,  and  a  body  of 
students,  who  passed  through  a  course  of  eloquence, 
philosophy,  and  theology,  and  more  or  less  instruction 
in  Latin,  Greek,  and  Hebrew.  They  played  a  great 
part  in  Protestant  education  in  France,  and  were  not 
confined  to  students  in  theology,  though  no  doubt  the 
education  of  a  learned  and  orthodox  ministry  was 
their  supreme  object.  For  the  pulpit  occupied  during 
the  first  two  centuries  after  the  Reformation  a  place  in 
Protestant  Europe  only  paralleled  in  a  few  exceptional 
cases,  and  at  rare  intervals,  in  anterior  history. 

Candidates  were  proposed  and  examined  at  the 
sitting  of  the  provincial  synods,  and,  if  accepted,  they 
were  required  to  sign  the  confession  of  faith.  They 
preached  before  the  synod  on  being  proposed,  and 
again  at  the  close  of  their  course,  as  students  in 
theology  ;  and,  if  finally  approved,  they  were  ordained, 
either  at  a  consistory  or  in  a  synod.  The  candidate 
knelt,  while  one  of  the  leading  ministers  addressed 
him  on  the  duties  of  the  pastorate,  after  which  some 
of  the  pastors  present  laid  hands  upon  him.  The 
officiating  minister  then  gave  him  the  right  hand  of 
fellowship,  and  the  Sunday  following  he  preached  his 
entrance  sermon. 

As  the  limits  of  each  Church  were  those  of  its  town 
or    district,   there    were    frequently    several    pastors 


attached  to  the  same  Church.  Ou  Sunday _,  there  were 
three  sermons  preached  by  three  different  pastors.  A 
liturgy  was  used,  which  permitted  the  minister,  after 
reading"  an  exhortation  and  confession,  to  occupy  the 
greater  part  of  the  service  in  free  prayer  and  preach- 
ing. Chanting  the  psalms  was  a  very  important 
feature  in  the  service,  which  concluded  with  a  long 
prayer  from  the  formulary.  On  Wednesdays  there 
was  a  short  service,  consisting  mainly  of  an  exhorta- 
tion, the  rest  of  the  service  being  accommodated  to 

The  pastors  were  assisted  by  elders  and  deacons, 
chosen  by  the  consistories  with  the  assent  of  the 
people.  The  office  of  the  former  was,  with  the  pastors, 
to  watch  over  the  people,  to  cause  them  to  assemble, 
to  make  known  scandals  to  the  pastors  ',  also  to  watch 
over  the  pastors  and  deacons,  especially  to  maintain 
purity  of  doctrine  in  the  former.  The  deacons  had  the 
care  of  the  poor,  and  with  the  elders  gave  notice  of 
the  communion,  which  was  done  by  leaving  a  little 
lead  ticket  at  the  dwelling  of  each  person  entitled  to 
be  present. 

The  Communion  of  the  Lord's  Supper  was  celebrated 
at  a  long  table,  some  of  the  elders  presiding;  the 
deacons  cut  up  bread,  which  the  ministers  distributed, 
and  also  the  wine.  If  any  one  had  an  invincible  re- 
pugnance to  wine  he  was  not  expected  to  take  more 
than  the  bread.  The  supper  was  administered  first  to 
the  men,  then  to  the  women,  the  pastors  sitting  at  a 
table  on  a  raised  dais.  The  communion  commenced 
with  an  address  on  its  nature  and  meaning  and  the 
duties  of  the  participants ;  while  it  proceeded,  a  lay- 
man, often  an  artisan,  but  generally  the  schoolmaster, 
read  passages  from  the  Bible,  and  caused  psalms  to 
be  sung. 

As  the  Lord's  Supper  was  regarded  as  another  form 



of  preaching  the  Gospel,  aud  an  act  of  fellowship 
among  believers,  so  baptism  meant  nothing  more  than 
reception  into  the  Church.  The  service  of  infant 
baptism,  as  practised  in  1566,  considerably  softens  the 
severity  of  Calvinist  doctrine,  since  it  saj's  that  Christ 
did  not  come  to  diminish  the  grace  of  God,  but  that 
all  circumcision  was  under  the  Old  Testament  baptism 
is  under  the  New,  implying  that  as  the  Jews  were  elect 
for  their  fathers'  sake,  so  among  Christians  there  was 
also  an  election  of  families.  This  at  least  was  the 
impression  the  service  must  have  conveyed. 

French  Calvinism  regarded  the  education  of  its 
little  children  in  Christian  doctrine  as  of  the  highest 
importance.  It  was  customary  to  collect  them  in  the 
temples  and  teach  them  a  catechism,  which  was  an 
exposition  of  the  Apostles^  Creed,  the  Ten  Command- 
ments, and  the  Lord's  Prayer.  As  taught  in  the 
middle  of  the  sixteenth  century,  prior  to  the  massacre 
of  St.  Bartholomew,  it  is  a  most  interesting  document, 
by  no  means  hard,  narrow,  or  unintelligent. 

The  Eeformed  Churches  of  France  were  from  the 
very  first  of  the  same  mind  as  those  of  Germany  and 
Switzerland  with  regard  to  the  education  of  the 
people,  for  they  devoted  a  whole  chapter  of  their 
^  Discipline  '  to  the  subject. 

But  it  was  not  until  after  the  Edict  of  Nantes  that 
they  were  able  to  carry  into  effect  the  article  of  their 
'  Discipline  ^  which  said  :  '  The  Churches  shall  make 
it  a  duty  to  raise  schools  and  to  give  orders  that  the 
young  people  be  instructed.'' 

In  the  project  of  the  Edict,  in  593,  it  was  agreed 
that  the  Reformed  might  build  and  rent  colleges  for 
the  instruction  of  their  youth,  and  the  Edict  ex- 
pressly permitted  them  to  ^hold  public  schools,'  in 
places  where  the  exercise  of  their  religion  was  re- 
cognised,  and    to    provide    by   special   legacies   for 


the  support  of  the  scholars  belonging  to  their 

Each  Church  had  a  regent  or  schoolmaster  to  teach 
reading  and  arithmetic  to  the  children^  and  in  centres 
of  importance  there  was  a  second  regent^  who  taught 
the  elements  of  Latin.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
seventeenth  century  the  salary  of  the  first  order  of 
schoolmaster  in  these  primary  schools  was  fifty  livres 
a  year,  which  rose  sometimes  to  nearly  a  hundred 
or  even  two  hundred  livres,  to  which  was  added  the 
contributions  of  the  richer  pupils,  not  generally 
numerous.  The  schoolmasters  who  taught  Latin 
received  from  one  hundred  and  twenty  to  one  hundred 
and  forty  livres  per  annum,  and  the  pupils  paid  from 
ten  to  fifteen  sous  a  month.  These  salaries  were  fixed 
by  the  consistories.  The  instruction  given  was  in 
reality  nearly  gratuitous. 


Louis  XIIL  and  Eichelieu. 

The  war  recommenced  in  1622.  Lonis  XIIL  hauo-ed 
or  sent  to  the  galleys  every  prisoner  taken.  This  so 
intimidated  the  Protestants  that  they  fell  away  in  vast 
numbers ;  and  some  of  their  chiefs,  unaccustomed  to 
such  exterminatory  warfare,  made  their  peace  with  the 
king.  At  Negrepelisse,  a  little  town  near  Montauban, 
the  king  struck  a  blow  intended  to  terrorise.  In 
half  an  hour  every  inhabitant  was  murdered,  women 
flying  with  children  in  their  arms  found  no  mercy,  the 
streets  were  choked  with  the  dead,  and  running  with 
blood.  Those  who  fled  into  the  castle  surrendered 
next  day  at  discretion,  and  were  all  hanged.  At 
Toulouse  the  royal  captains  and  great  lords,  the 
Prince  de  Conde,  etc.,  etc.,  with  six  hundred  gentle- 


men  took  the  communion  together,  some  even  joined 
the  Confraternity  of  the  Blue  Penitents.^ 

However,  the  royal  army  was  stopped  this  time  at 
Montpellier,  and  towards  the  middle  of  October  the 
king  agreed  with  Rohan  to  articles  of  peace.  The 
Edict  of  Nantes  was  confirmed,  religious  assemblies 
permitted,  but  no  political  assembly  was  to  be  held 
without  the  king^s  express  permission.  Montpellier 
was  to  be  dismantled.  La  Rochelle  and  Montauban  were 
still  to  remain  fortifi.ed  places.  Finally  the  Protestant 
leader,  the  Duke  of  Rohan,  received  a  mortgage  of 
600,000  livres  on  the  Duchy  of  Valois,  and  another 
sum  in  ready  money  of  200,000  livres ;  his  pensions 
were  re-established  as  well  as  those  of  his  brother. 

This  treaty  was  but  a  stopping  to  take  breath  j  the 
drama  had  an  inevitable  end.  The  authorities  and  the 
people,  animated  without  doubt  by  the  general  in- 
fluence working  through  Europe,  irritated  the  Protes- 
tants by  persistent  petty  persecutions,  disturbing  them 
in  their  religious  worship,  depriving  them  of  their 
temples,  taking  from  them  their  cemeteries  and  dis- 
interring their  dead;  beating,  wounding,  and  driving 
the  pastors  away  from  the  churches,  compelling  them 
in  their  synods  to  deliberate  in  the  presence  of  a  royal 
official.  The  more  zealous  among  the  Huguenots, 
moved  not  only  by  these  things,  but  also  by  their 
sympathies  with  the  great  currents  of  feeling  surging 
in  Germany  and  England,  were  ready  at  every  oppor- 
tunity to  draw  the  sword.  A  partisan  warfare  raged 
in  Languedoc  under  Rohan  and  his  brother  Soubise. 
The  flame  flickered  and  died  down,  then  rose  again ; 
but  the  greater  part  of  the  Huguenot  people  refused 
to  arm.     In  vain  did  Rohan  denounce  their  indiffer- 

^  The  same  wl)0  had  formerly  induced  tLe  Huguenots  to 
support  his  rebellion* 


ence,  cupidity,  venality;  it  was  of  no  avails  sometliing 
seemed  to  tell  them  the  struggle  v/as  liopeless.  And 
so  it  was,  for  a  man  had  arisen  who  had  sworn  to 
ruin  the  Huguenot  party,  a  man  who  possessed  the 
ability  to  do  all  he  determined.  In  his  Testament 
Politique,  Cardinal  Richelieu  gives  the  picture  he  put 
before  Louis  XEII.  of  the  condition  of  France  in  1624. 
'  I  can  truly  say/  he  tells  the  king,  ^  that  the  Hugue- 
nots share  the  State  with  the  State,  that  the  grandees 
conduct  themselves  as  if  they  were  not  its  subjects, 
and  the  more  powerful  governors  of  provinces  as  if 
they  were  themselves  their  sovereigns.  ...  I  pro- 
mise your  majesty  to  employ  all  my  industry,  and  all 
the  authority  it  may  please  you  to  give  me,  to  ruin  the 
Huguenot  party,  to  lower  the  pride  of  the  grandees, 
to  reduce  all  your  majesty's  subjects  to  their  duty, 
and  to  cause  your  name  to  be  respected  in  foreign 
countries  as  it  ought  to  be.'  And  on  determining  to 
attack  and  subjugate  the  Protestant  citadel, La Rochelle, 
Richelieu  saw  he  should  attain  all  these  ends.  This 
is  why  he  took  so  profound  an  interest  in  the  siege, 
commanding  in  person,  and  directing  all  things  as  a 
general  in  the  field. 


The  Siege  op  La  Rochelle. 

On  the  western  coast  of  France,  facing  the  Atlantic, 
stood  La  Rochelle,  long  the  most  independent  city  in 
France.  Its  privileges  had  been  granted  by  Eleanor 
of  Aquitaine,  wife  of  Edward  IL,  and  had  been  ac- 
knowledged iDy  Louis  XI.  Its  inhabitants,  numbering 
in  1625  28,000  souls,  governed  themselves  by  means 
of  100  magistrates,  consisting  of  a  mayor,  twenty-four 
sheriffs,  and  seventy-five  peers.  They  had  their  own 
troops,  a  marine,  a  treasury,  and  very  extensive  rights 


of  jurisdiction.  Intelligent,  industrious,  excellent 
sailors,  they  were  rich  and  prosperous. 

In  1557,  the  Reformation  commenced  in  La  Rochelle. 
It  soon  won  the  city,  which  thus  became  the  Calvinist 
stronghold.  It  was  in  fact  a  Protestant  republic,  to 
which  every  one  fled  who  had  energy,  courage,  and 
was  uncompromisingly  Calvinistic.  This  indomitable 
seat  of  liberty  Richelieu  determined  to  conquer.  He 
came  attended  by  the  king,  and  by  various  generals 
and  engineers,  by  three  militant  bishops,  who,  career- 
ing about  the  camp  on  horseback,  acted  as  his  lieu- 

There  were  no  means  of  conquering  the  place  except 
by  starvation.  But  how  starve  a  great  maritime  town 
that  looked  out  on  the  sea,  and  was  promised  the 
succour  of  the  Enghsh  fleet  ?  The  cardinal  deter- 
mined to  build  across  the  harbour  an  immense  dyke, 
or  rather  two,  which  very  nearly  met,  the  opening 
being  dominated  by  a  great  fort.  The  generals 
laughed,  did  not  believe  it  possible,  possibly  they  did 
not  want  La  Rochelle  to  fall;  for  that  gone,  even 
Catholic  noblemen  might  expect  to  be  eaten  alive  by 
this  ecclesiastical  monster.  It  was  certainly  not  from 
the  Huguenots  that  the  cry  subsequently  arose,  ^  No 
more  priest-generals.'' 

However,  the  cardina?s  engineers  set  to  work,  and 
in  six  months  the  dyke  was  constructed.  Meanwhile 
Buckingham  came  and  went,  and  the  Rochellois  saw 
nothing  could  be  done  but  to  endure  to  the  uttermost. 
They  elected  for  their  mayor  an  old  sailor,  named 
Guitou.  He  refused  the  ofiice,  but  when  they  per- 
sisted, he  took  out  a  dagger,  and  laying  it  on  the 
council  chamber  of  the  town  hall,  said,  ^  The  man 
who  proposes  we  surrender,  I  plunge  this  into  his 

Three  times  an  English  fleet  appeared  in  front  of 


the  towD,  for  the  English  Parliament  was  determined 
at  every  cost  to  succour  La  Rochelle.  But  each  time 
the  expediton  was  a  failure^  and  so  the  Rochellois 
looked  in  vain  for  supplies.  At  last  they  ate  boiled 
leather,  and  a  cat  sold  for  forty-five  livres.  Indeed, 
it  is  related  that  a  man  kept  his  child  alive  for  a  week 
by  blood  drawn  from  his  own  veins.  E-educed  to  the 
last  extremity,  they  decided  to  drive  out  all  the  poor, 
all  the  infirm,  all  widows  and  old  and  helpless  people. 
This  band  of  miserable  outcasts  were  received  by  the 
hostile  camp  with  a  volley  of  musketry.  They  re- 
turned in  despair  to  the  city,  whose  pitiless  gates  were 
barred.  They  fell  into  the  trench,  and  here,  for  a 
morsel  of  bread,  the  women  endured  the  last  extremity 
of  dishonour  from  the  soldiers  of  a  prince  of  the 
Church  and  of  the  most  Christian  king.  What  a  sight 
for  the  angels  was  this  end  of  a  religious  war  !  Two 
sets  of  militant  Christians,  both  animated  by  their 
respective  ministers,  drive  backwards  and  forwards 
the  very  people  whom  Jesus  Christ  most  loved — drive 
them  to  a  death  the  most  horrible,  the  most  despairful 
it  is  possible  to  imagine. 

After  this  La  Rochelle  was  bound  to  fall ;  it  was  only 
a  question  of  time.  Yet  the  stubborn  city  refused 
every  offer ;  it  knew  that  this  was  the  end.  At  last, 
when  the  third  English  fleet  had  failed  to  relieve  them, 
it  became  clear  the  defence  was  hopeless,  and  they  gave 
way.  When  Richelieu  entered  there  were  only  12,000 
living  out  of  28,000.  He  ordered  the  corpses  to  be 
cleared  away,  the  streets  cleansed,  and  the  principal 
temple  to  be  made  the  cathedral.  Then,  on  the  1st  of 
November,  1628,  this  minister  of  Jesus  Christ,  this 
prince  in  His  so  called  Church,  performed  the  miracle 
of  the  mass.  The  king  entered  the  same  evening,  and 
a  Jesuit  very  appropriately  celebrated  the  Feast  of  the 
Dead.   To  this  feast  came  a  long  line  of  ravening  birds. 


who  fastened  and  fattened  on  the  dead  carcase  of  Pro- 
testant Eochelle.  It  was  the  final  scene^  and  Richelieu_, 
knowing  all  was  over,  behaved  with  a  magnanimity 
towards  the  conquered  worthy  of  the  genius  and  per- 
severance he  had  displayed. 

But,  whatever  the  benefit  to  France  of  this  great 
feat,  the  locality  was  permanently  ruined.  Two  hun- 
dred and  fifty  years  after  the  event  the  Poitevin 
peasant  is  fanatic  and  superstitious  as  the  Bretons 
themselves.  Catholic  Rochelle  is  still  to  be  seen  with 
almost  one- third  less  inhabitants  to-day  than  it  had 
in  1627.  The  cardinals  dyke  is  still  there,  but  the 
insects  have  seized  on  the  city.  A  plague  of  white 
ants,  imported  from  India,  have  fastened  on  its  timbers, 
and  especially  infect  the  Prefecture  and  the  Arsenal. 
The  city  built  on  a  rock  was  to  stand,  but  that  which 
makes  ought  else  its  foundation  is  doomed  to  fall. 
The  Protestant  Churches  of  France  had  in  the  fall  of 
La  Rochelle  a  terrible  but  a  just  lesson.  '  He  that 
taketh  the  sword  shall  perish  by  the  sword."* 


The  End  of  Political  Peotestantism. 

Richelieu  celebrated  his  success  over  Protestantism 
by  a  pagan  triumph  at  Paris,  in  which,  in  accordance 
with  the  allegorical  taste  of  the  age,  Louis  XIII.  was 
represented  as  Jupiter  Stator,  holding  in  his  hand  a 
gilded  thunderbolt ;  a  representation  less  open  to 
ridicule  than  such  exhibitions  often  were,  because  it 
expressed  the  truth  about  the  situation  and  the  car- 
dinal's policy.  He  was  really  making  Louis  XIII. 
the  founder  of  a  new  order  of  things,  and  though  he 
caused  his  Jove  to  launch  thunderbolts,  he  did  his  best 
to  have  them  gilded. 

THE  DUKE   OF  ROHAN.  137 

Notwithstanding  the  general  impulsion  towards 
national  unity^  a  section  of  the  Protestants  were  still 
Calvinistic  enough  to  desire  a  separate  existence. 
Their  leader  was  the  Duke  of  Rohan,  a  man  who  in 
this  corrupt  and  vacillating  age  led  a  pure  and  earnest 
life,  and  in  whom  the  old  Haguenot  spirit  burnt 
strongly,  as  it  did  in  his  aged  mother,  a  woman 
of  gi-eat  courage,  fortitude,  and  constancy.  Rohan 
bitterly  denounced  the  refusal  of  his  co-religionists 
to  continue  the  struggle  for  a  cause  which  was  the 
only  barrier  to  the  incoming  despotism.  To  obtain 
the  means  to  carry  it  on,  he  went  so  far  as  to  con- 
clude a  treaty  with  Spain,  by  which  in  exchange  for 
a  subsidy  of  300,000  ducats  and  a  pension,  he  agreed 
to  maintain  the  war  as  long  as  the  King  of  Spain 
willed,  and  if  peace  was  made  to  recommence  it  if 
Spain  so  determined ;  while  in  the  event  of  his  suc- 
ceeding to  the  extent  of  his  being  able  to  establish  a 
State  apart  from  France,  he  agreed  to  grant  liberty 
of  conscience  to  all  Catholics,  and  to  preserve  all 
monks  and  nuns  in  the  possession  of  their  property, 
honours,  and  dignities. 

To  understand  Rohan  we  must  not  only  regard  him 
as  the  last  representative  of  the  old  political  and  of  the 
new  religious  independence,  but  we  must  remember 
that  the  great  Thirty  Years'  War  had  begun,  and  that 
Europe  was  really  divided  into  two  camps  :  the  one 
fighting  for  Protestantism  and  individual  and  civic 
liberty,  the  other  for  Catholicism  and  spiritual  and 
political  despotism.  When  in  this  war  we  see  James 
I.  entering  into  friendly  relations  with  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  Catholic  party,  and  Pope  Urban  YIII. 
wishing  success  to  the  Protestants,  we  do  not  blame 
either  of  the  two  parties,  but  only  those  who  sacrificed 
great  objects  for  their  own  personal  ends ;  so  now  it 
is  not  Rohan,  but  Spain,  that  is  the  traitor. 


The  Huguenot  leader  was  supported  by  a  political 
assembly  convoked  at  Nimes ;  but  the  Protestant  cities 
and  towns  in  the  South  of  France  refused  to  obey  its 
injunctions^  and  each  made  their  own  terms  with  the 
king.  Marching  triumphantly  through  the  Protestant 
districts,  the  royal  army  came  to  Privas,  an  important 
town  in  the  mountainous  district  of  the  Vivarais_,  and 
near  the  Rhone,,  which  was  held  by  some  of  the  most 
determined  adherents  of  Rohan.  The  inhabitants  fled 
into  the  woods  adjacent;  all  who  were  caught  were  put 
to  death  or  sent  to  the  galleys.  At  the  moment  the 
invading  army  entered  the  town  an  explosion  took 
place,  whereupon  eight  hundred  Huguenot  soldiers 
were  slaughtered,  and  fifty  of  the  citizens  hanged,  the 
city  being  sacked  and  burnt. 

Richelieu,  it  is  said,  was  ill  when  Privas  was  taken ; 
it  was  not  his  wont  to  treat  the  Huguenots  cruelly,  and 
when  those  in  arms  finally  submitted,  he  not  only 
included  all  in  the  amnesty,  but  made  the  king  swear 
once  again  to  maintain  the  Edict  of  Nantes.  There 
was  one  point  upon  which  he  was  inflexible  :  all  forti- 
fications were  to  be  rased.  Montauban,  so  long  one 
of  the  two  great  Protestant  fortresses,  demurred  to 
this  j  but  when  the  Montalbanais  heard  that  Richelieu 
was  marching  against  them,  they  yielded,  and  welcomed 
him  into  the  city  to  the  cry  of,  ^  Vive  le  roi  et  le  grand 
cardinal  ^  (Aug.  21st,  1629).  The  victor  received  even 
the  pastors  courteously,  telling  them  that  in  their 
quality  as  subjects  the  king  would  make  no  difi'erence 
between  Protestants  and  Catholics. 

Thus  political  Protestantism  was  finally  ruined  in 
France,  and  a  new  era  commenced. 



Passing  under  the  ^  Caudine  Forks/ 

The  Reformed  Churclies  of  France  miglifc  have  found 
new  streugtli  in  returning  to  tlieir  normal  state,  but 
they  had  been  so  long  accustomed  to  look  up  to  the 
powerful  of  the  earth  for  protection,  that  now  their 
leaders  are  all  conquered  and  overthrown,  they  turn 
instinctively  to  the  victor  for  help,  even  going  so  far 
as  to  request  the  royal  bounty  in  support  of  their 

The  Catholic  clergy,  by  ages  of  experience  having 
learnt  what  it  was  to  put  their  trust  in  princes,  had 
accumulated  immense  property,  to  which  they  clung 
pertinaciously.  Thus  at  the  very  time  that  Protestants 
were  begging  a  little  pecuniary  aid,  the  French  clergy 
were  able  to  grant  large  sums  of  money  to  the  king, — 
dons  gratuits, — benevolences,  as  they  were  called  in 
England.  The  result  is  obvious,  the  French  Protes- 
tant Church  fell  into  being  a  servant  of  servants,  it 
became  the  tail  of  a  State  in  which  the  Poman  Catholic 
clergy  had  supreme  influence. 

In  this  miserable  position  the  Huguenots  were  open 
to  the  cruel  selfishness  of  a  world  which  has  nearly 
always  conceived  might  means  right.  As  long  as 
their  enemies  dreaded  the  possibility  of  their  ultimate 
success,  they  treated  them  with  some  consideration ; 
now  they  knew  that  they  could  do  no  more,  they  took 
advantage  after  advantage.  During  the  war,  the 
clergy  had  not  been  prominent  as  persecutors;  but 
now  it  had  concluded  in  the  final  defeat  of  the  Pro- 
testants, they  commenced  an  exterminatory  attack 
infinitely  more  difiicult  to  bear  than  a  struggle  which 
meant  a  soldier's  life,  with  all  its  hazards.  A  restless 
militia  of  Jesuits  and  monks  and  friars  was  sent  out 


against  tliem,  who,  by  continually  exciting  the  fana- 
ticism of  the  populace,  left  the  Huguenots  no  peace. 
Their  only  earthly  protector  was  the  inscrutable 
Richelieu,  whose  policy  rendered  him  equally  so  of 
Jesuits  and  Carmelites.  As  to  the  kings  Louis  XIII. 
and  Louis  XIV.,  they  learnt  nothing  from  this  great 
statesman  except  that  the  Huguenots  were  a  danger 
to  the  royal  authority,  and  that  therefore  it  was 
necessary  to  depress  them.  All  the  subordinate  au- 
thorities follow  the  evident  bent  of  king  and  people. 
No  favour  to  the  heretics,  but  perpetual  injustice. 
The  intendants  of  the  provinces,  royal  officials  Avho 
acted  as  provincial  viceroys,  took  this  line,  and  con- 
stantly favoured  the  Jesuits  against  the  pastors,  and 
the  bishops  against  the  synods.  Tlie  provincial  Par- 
liaments, assemblies  of  lawyers  actuated  by  the  same 
spirit,  easily  made  the  balance  of  justice  dip  when 
Huguenots  were  parties  to  a  suit,  or  explained  the  law 
with  severity  when  they  were  cited  for  some  infraction 
of  the  penal  code.  It  was  the  same  with  the  uni- 
versities and  colleges,  more  or  less  dominated  by 
clerical  influences.  Thus  the  Huguenots,  notwith- 
standing the  Edict  of  Nantes,  were  made  to  feel  that 
they  would  never  be  allowed  their  position  in  the 
State  until  they  submitted  to  its  religion. 


The  Huguenot  Pulpit  and  Protestant  Art. 

{Middle  of  tliG  seventeenth  centiirij.) 

With  so  much  in  its  favour,  it  is  no  wonder  that  the 
religion  of  the  State  pursued  the  work  of  conversion 
with  energy.  As  few  people  like  to  be  connected  with 
a  sinking  cause,  the  upper  classes  could  safely  be  left  to 


the  force  of  the  tide ;  but  the  mass  of  the  Huguenots_, 
scattered  iu  more  or  less  remote  parts  of  the  country, 
would  not  realize  so  readily  the  ruin  of  the  Church ; 
for  them  therefore  it  was  judged  advisable  to  make 
great  missionary  efforts. 

The  kind  of  men  sent,  however,  proved  that  the 
rulers  of  the  Gallicau  Church  little  understood  the 
genius  of  the  Reformed  Faith.  Coarse,  uneducated 
persons  ran  all  over  the  country,  setting  up  at  corners 
of  streets,  or  in  crossways,  tables  with  piles  of  books, 
challenging  the  Huguenots  to  controversy.  Some- 
times they  intruded  into  private  houses,  or  even  offered 
to  debate  with  the  pastors. 

But  these  ill-considered  efforts  met  with  little 
success,  for  in  being  able  to  give  a  reason  for  the 
faith  that  was  in  him,  no  religionist  was  ever  better 
instructed  than  the  Huguenot. 

Whatever  were  the  shortcomings  of  the  Protestant 
ministry,  it  had  always  been  faithful  to  the  rule  which 
insisted  on  explaining  to  the  people  the  principles  of 
their  religion.  No  ministry  perhaps  ever  so  cultivated 
the  pulpit  as  a  real  source  of  power.  They  were 
enjoined  to  be  prudent  and  restrained  in  their  preach- 
ing, to  abstain  from  digressions  and  amplifications,  to 
avoid  uselessly  heaping  up  passages  of  Scripture,  and 
that  vain  erudition  which  consists  in  stating  a  number 
of  different  explanations  of  the  text  or  passage.  They 
were  urged  not  to  indulge  in  violent  and  injurious 
lana-uasre  against   the  Roman  Church,  but  to  prevent 

1*11  TT 

and  repress  such  language  as  much  as  possible.  Upon 
a  people  thus  educated,  the  mere  exertions  of  illiterate 
controversialists  were  wasted. 

A  brief  reference  was  made  in  a  previous  chapter  to 
the  more  distinguished  pastors  of  the  French  Reformed 
Churches  during  the  first  quarter  of  the  seventeenth 
century.     The  time  has  come  to  mention  those  who 


were    most    prominent    towards    the   middle    of  the 

When  Louis  XIV.  came  to  the  throne,  in  1643, 
Dumoulin,  Basnage,  Garissoles,  and  Mestrezat  were  still 
living;  Aubertin,  Drelincourt,  Daille_,  Amyraut,  De  la 
Place,  Gaussin,  and  Bochart  were  in  the  prime  of  life. 

Edme  Aubertin  (1595-1652)  was  the  author  of  a 
powerful  work  on  the  Eucharist,  in  which  he  sought 
to  prove  that  the  doctrine  of  the  Real  Presence  was 
unknown  during  the  first  six  centuries  of  the  Christian 

Charles  Drelincourt  (1595-1669)  achieved  a  renown 
not  permitted  to  the  more  learned  efforts  of  some  of 
his  contemporaries.  His  Consolations  in  Frosped  of 
Death  was  long  a  popular  work.  He  wrote  more  for 
edification  than  any  other  end,  and  his  works  were 
regarded  as  very  useful.  His  Summary  of  tJie  Contro- 
versies armed  his  co-religionists  against  the  sophistries 
of  the  converters,  while  his  Preparations  for  the  Lord's 
Supper,  and  his  Charitable  Visits,  show  the  practical 
nature  of  his  works. 

Jean  Daille  (1595-1670)  was  of  the  same  age  as  the 
two  former,  and,  like  Aubertin,  a  man  of  solid  eccle- 
siastical learning.  He  was  brought  up  in  the  house 
of  Duplessis-Mornay,  and  had  travelled  in  all  the 
principal  countries  of  Europe.  His  first  tract  was 
entitled  The  Usage  of  the  Fathers ;  his  opus  magnum 
was  his  Apology  of  the  Beformed  Cliurches,  in  which  he 
vindicates  them  from  the  charge  of  having  broken  the 
unity  of  the  Catholic  Church.  He  was  a  most  laborious 
student,  and  might  pass  for  the  original  of  one  of  those 
philosophers  which  his  contemporary  Rembrandt  (1608- 
1669)  so  often  depicted,  seated  in  a  crypt-like  kitchen, 
deep  in  meditation,  while  his  wife  or  servant  prepared 
his  frugal  morning  meal. 

Moise  Amyraut  (1596-1664),  professor  at  Saumur, 



was  the  exponent  of  a  doctrine  which  lay  midway  be- 
tween that  of  the  Calvinistic  and  the  Arminian  schools^ 
and  which  declared  that  the  death  of  Jesus  Christ  was 
sufficient  for  all  men,  but  only  efficacious  for  the  elect. 
Although  he  published  a  confession  of  faith  in  a  sense 
contrary  to  Arminianism,  this  moderate  advance  in 
that  direction  rendered  him  open  to  the  cliarge  of 
heterodoxy.  However,  his  great  reputation  for  learn- 
ing and  his  amiable  character  enabled  him  to  live 
down  this  reproach>  and  in  his  later  life  he  was  one  of 
the  most  honoured  Fathers  of  the  Reformed  Church. 
During  the  last  ten  years  of  his  life  he  bestowed  the 
whole  of  his  salary  on  the  poor  without  distinction  of 
religion.  His  literary  industry  must  have  been  great, 
as  he  published  nearly  forty  works.  It  is  not  surprising 
that  such  a  man  should  have  been  esteemed  by  patrons 
of  learning  like  Richelieu  and  Mazarin. 

One  of  Amyraut's  colleagues  at  Saumur  was  Josue 
de  la  Place  (1596-1655),  also  a  learned  theologian.  He 
held  views  of  his  own  on  original  sin,  arguing  that 
while  men  bore  the  burden  of  Adam^s  sin,  they  were 
not  as  responsible  as  if  they  had  personally  committed 
the  transgression. 

Samuel  Bochart  (1599-1667),  whose  researches  on 
the  early  peoples,  places,  and  animals  mentioned  in 
Scripture  are  quoted  to  this  day  in  commentaries,  was 
a  learned  philologist,  and  much  esteemed  as  pastor  of 
the  Church  at  Caen,  in  which  town  he  suddenly  died 
while  speaking  at  the  local  Academy  of  Antiquaries. 

Etienne  Gaussin,  a  third  professor  at  Saumur,  and 
Michel  le  Faucheur,  left  works  on  pulpit  eloquence, 
showing  how  much  that  art  was  then  cultivated. 

The  temple  at  Charenton,  near  Paris,  was  as  it  were 
the  Protestant  cathedral,  and  in  its  pulpit  from  time 
to  time  appeared  nearly  all  the  more  distinguished 
Huguenot  preachers  in  France. 



This  edifice,  builfc  by  tlie  Protestant  architect 
Debrosse,  in  1606,  was  a  grand  quadrilateral,  like  an 
ancient  basilica,  with  three  galleries  one  above  another. 
It  was  well  lighted,  for  it  had  no  less  than  eighty-one 
windows.  It  could  hold  14^000  persons,  and  must 
have  required  a  man  of  powerful  voice  to  fill  it.  Its 
exterior  was  very  plain,  no  doubt  the  necessity  of 
surrounding  it  with  a  high  wall  caused  the  architect 
to  reserve  himself  for  its  interior,  for  Debrosse, 
though  austere  in  style,  as  befitted  a  Huguenot,  was  a 
man  of  abilit}',  as  may  be  seen  from  the  Palace  of  the 
Luxembourg,  of  which  he  was  the  architect  (1615- 
]620).  He  also  built  the  aqueduct  of  Arcueil,  which 
brought  the  water  to  Paris  from  the  village  of  Rungis ; 
a  worthy  worker,  true  to  his  interior  life,  comprehend- 
ing instinctively  that  there  could  be  no  serious  art  in  a 
building  of  which  the  architecture  was  not  in  harmony 
with  its  purpose. 

Because  some  of  the  greatest  works  of  art  have  been 
produced  in  Roman  Catholic  countries,  people  take  it 
for  granted  that  mediaeval  Christianity  was  more 
favourable  to  the  birth  of  art  than  the  Reformed  Faith. 
The  great  Dutch  school  of  painting,  contemporary  with 
the  time  now  before  us,  shows  that  this  is  an  unwar- 
rantable assumption.  The  truth  is,  the  existence  of 
art  is  not  dependent  on  any  form  of  faith ;  whatever 
is  sincerely  and  intensely  believed  will  attain  some 
artistic  expression,  its  nature  and  degree  being  greatly 
affected  by  climate,  culture,  and  other  circumstances. 
But  the  finest  climate  and  the  utmost  culture  can- 
not get  art  out  of  doubt,  scepticism,  or  Jesuitised 

In  the  joy  of  its  new-found  faith.  Protestantism 
gave  to  the  most  spiritual  of  all  arts,  music,  a  new 
life  and  a  marvellous  development,  comparable  to 
that  which  happened  to  painting  in  Catholic  countries. 


tlirough  tlie  great  movement  connected  with  the  names 
of  Francis  and  Dominic.  But  Protestantismj  as  this 
great  Dutch  school  proves^  not  only  became  more  than 
the  foster-mother  of  the  art  of  music,,  but  the  source 
of  a  school  which^  for  interest,  has  no  rival  except 
among  the  early  Italians.  The  struggle  for  indepen- 
dence, and  the  sufferings  of  the  Anabaptists,  were  its 
inspiration.  If  Protestant  France  cannot  be  compared 
to  Protestant  Germany  for  music,  or  to  Protestant 
Holland  for  painting,  it  must  be  remembered  that  it 
never  succeeded  in  becoming  more  than  a  weak  and 
struggling  minority,  and  that  its  early  guides  took 
care  not  to  allow  the  Anabaptist  faith  to  make  any 
"way  in  its  Churches.  Nevertheless,  its  intense  earnest- 
ness could  not  fail,  at  the  first  favourable  opportunity, 
to  develop  artists.  And  the  greatest  among  them 
appeared  when  the  springs  of  faith  were  most  simply 
evangelic.  French  Protestantism  never  excelled  its 
Palissy,  its  Goujon,  and  its  Goudimel ;  yet  the  line 
goes  on,  and  in  the  middle  of  this  seventeenth  century 
there  were  quite  a  number  of  Huguenot  artists. 

The  career  of  Sebastien  Bourdon  (1616-1G71)  shows 
the  difficulties  with  which  a  Huguenot  artist  has  to 
contend.  Born  at  Montpellier,  he  entered  at  seven 
years  of  age  the  atelier  of  a  painter  in  Paris  named 
Barthelemy.  At  fourteen  he  painted  a  ceiling  in  fresco 
at  a  chateau  near  Bordeaux.  He  went  to  Toulouse, 
but  not  being  able  to  earn  a  living,  enlisted;  the 
officer,  however,  seeing  his  talent,  set  him  at  liberty, 
and  he  made  his  way  to  Rome.  Here  he  existed  by 
making  copies  of  the  great  masters  for  a  furniture- 
broker  ;  threatened,  however,  by  another  painter  with 
denunciation  as  a  heretic,  he  fled  from  Rome  and 
returned  to  Paris,  where  he  began  to  paint  battle- 
pieces,  hunts,  and  landscapes.  In  1605  he  obtained 
a  commission  from  the  Goldsmiths'  Company  to  paint 


a  Crucifixion  of  Sfc.  Peter.  In  1648  he  helped  to 
found  the  Academy  of  Painting,  and  was  appointed  a 
professor.  During  the  wars  of  the  Fronde  he  went 
to  Sweden,  and  was  employed  by  Queen  Christina. 
He  returned  to  Paris,  where  he  painted  many  large 
pictures  from  Scripture. 

Associated  with  Bourdon  in  founding  the  Academy 
of  Painting  were  four  other  Protestants,  Louis  Elle, 
called  Ferdinand,  Samuel  Bernard,  the  miniature 
painter,  Louis  Testelin,  and  Louis  Dugreur.  Fourteen 
other  Huguenot  painters  became  members  of  the 
Academy  between  1648  and  1675;  but  in  October, 
1681,  eight  were  excluded  for  the  crime  of  heresy, 
the  remainder  apparently  declaring  themselves  con- 
verted, or  ready  to  be  converted,  as  after  the  Revo- 
cation of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  only  Catholics  were 


The  Peotestant  Churches  of  Feakce  no  Longer 
Allowed  a  National  Character. 


Notwithstanding  the  learning  and  virtue  of  their 
divines,  notwithstanding  the  influence  of  the  many 
eminent  persons  in  art,  in  science,  in  the  army  and 
navy,  and  among  the  nobility  who  still  avowed  them- 
selves Protestant,  the  Reformed  Churches  of  France 
submitted  to  a  gradual  enslavement. 

Bound  by  principle  and  tradition  to  the  State,  the 
alliance  became,  after  the  fall  of  La  Rochelle,  a  new 
illustration  of  the  fable  of  the  wolf  and  the  lamb. 

Their  organ  of  action  and  expression  was  the  synod, 
provincial  or  national.     The  court  worked  to  render 


the  occurrence  of  the  latter  more  and  more  rare.  Be- 
tween 1631  and  1645  three  national  synods  were  held. 
A  royal  commissioner  was  appointed  to  be  present  at 
the  first,  which  took  place  at  Charenton.  Pastors 
and  laymen  were  alike  sad  and  humiliated ;  they  felt 
at  the  mercy  of  their  adversaries.  The  king  named 
the  deputies  who  would  be  most  agreeable  to  him,  and 
the  synod  obeyed.  Later  on  the  king  willed  that 
there  should  be  only  one  deputy,  and  this  oflSce  was 
finally  made  hereditary  in  the  family  of  the  Marquis 
de  Ruvigny.  The  Reformed  Churches  entreated  that 
they  might  add  a  deputy  of  the  third  estate,  but  this 
the  king  refused. 

Six  years  passed  before  another  national  synod  was 
held.  It  took  place  in  1637,  in  the  city  of  Alen^on, 
and  on  this  occasion  M.  de  Saint-Marc,  the  royal  com- 
missioner, said:  ^I  am  come  to  your  synod  in  order 
to  make  known  to  you  the  will  of  his  majesty.  All 
authority  is  of  God,  and  consequently  on  this  immov- 
able foundation  you  are  bound  to  obey.  Moreover, 
the  goodness  of  the  king,  and  the  care  he  takes  of  you, 
oblige  you  to  it ;  his  clemency  and  his  power  are  the 
firmest  support  you  can  possibly  have.  I  don^t  doubt 
that  you  have  often  reflected  on  the  admirable  provi- 
dence of  God  in  causing  the  royal  authority  of  his 
majesty  to  be  the  means  of  their  preservation.^  The 
moderator,  Basnage,  replied  that  the  Churches  had 
not  the  least  idea  of  departing  from  that  submission  to 
which  the  Word  of  God  obliged  them. 

Already  forbidden  by  royal  authority  to  receive  the 
teaching  of  the  Synod  of  Dort,  they  were  now  for- 
bidden to  correspond  with  foreign  Churches.  Letters 
coming  from  Geneva  and  Holland  were  first  opened 
by  the  royal  commissioner,  who,  after  he  had  ac- 
quainted himself  with  their  contents,  caused  them  to 
be  read  to  the  synod.     Still  more — one  synod  might 


not  correspond  witli  anotlier,  tlie  object  clearly  being 
to  separate  tlie  dying  aslies  as  mucli  as  possible. 

The  poor  synod  solaced  itself  by  considering  tlie 
slavery  of  the  negroes.  It  concluded  that  the  Word 
of  God  did  not  forbid  the  buying  and  keeping  of 
slavesj  but  recommended  the  faithful  not  to  abuse  the 
privilege  by  selling  their  slaves  to  barbarians  or  to 
cruel  people^  but  to  those  who  would  care  for  their 
immortal  souls  and  bring  them  up  in  the  Christian 

At  the  next  synod^  which  took  place  at  Charenton 
seven  years  later  on  (1644).  they  were  pushed  down 
a  step  lower  still,  the  royal  commissioner  taking  care 
to  be  first  in  complaining  of  the  encroachments  and 
usurpations  of  the  Eeformed  Churches.  He  then  de- 
clared that  it  was  the  will  of  the  king  that  they  should 
exclude  from  the  evangelic  ministry  all  who  had  studied 
at  Geneva,  or  in  Holland,  or  in  England.  The  battle 
of  Marston  Moor  (July  2nd,  1644)  had  taken  place 
during  the  previous  summer,  and  Henrietta  Maria  was 
in  France. 

Some  deputies  of  the  maritime  provinces  having 
reported  that  certain  English  Independents  had  estab- 
lished themselves  in  France,  and  were  teaching  that 
each  flock  had  a  right  to  govern  itself,  without  regard- 
ing the  authority  of  synods,  the  assembly  enjoined  the 
maritime  provinces  to  take  care  that  an  opinion  as 
prejudicial  to  the  Church  of  God  as  it  was  to  the  State 
should  not  root  itself  in  the  kingdom. 

However,  the  success  of  the  English  Puritans,  and 
the  troubles  of  the  Fronde,  had  a  beneficial  effect  on 
their  condition.  Mazarin  felt  it  necessary  to  keep  on 
good  terms  with  the  Huguenots,  and  for  a  short  time 
they  breathed  freely.  The  exercise  of  their  religion 
was  again  permitted  in  places  where  it  had  been 
illegally  suppressed.     The  Edict  of  Nantes  was   again 

MAZARIN.  151 

confirmed  m  1652,  and  its  provisions  carried  out  with 
some  reality. 

But  this  relaxation  in  the  process  of  garrotting 
French  Protestantism,  aroused  the  ire  of  the  Catholic 
clergy,  who  bitterly  complained  of  the  oppression  of 
the  Catholic  Church.  They  wished  for  the  re-estab- 
lishment of  the  legitimate  explanations  given  to  the 
Edict  by  the  late  king.  They  mourned  to  see  how 
the  heretics  had  destroyed  all  the  wise  precautions  that 
great  prince  had  taken  to  put  a  barrier  to  their  rest- 
less spirit.  Some  temples  having  been  built  on  property 
belonging  to  certain  ecclesiastical  lords,  the  assembly 
of  the  clergy  demanded  their  demolition,  as  ^syna- 
gogues of  Satan,  raised  on  the  patrimony  of  the  Son 
of  God.'  They  hinted  that  the  reports  which  the 
Huguenots  presented  of  their  injuries  amounted  to 
the  establishment  of  the  political  assemblies  forbidden 
by  various  edicts,  and  that  their  collections  in  favour 
of  the  Yaudois  of  Piedmont,  who  in  1655  were 
atrociously  massacred  by  their  ruler,  Charles  Em- 
manuel II.,  Duke  of  Savoy,^  indicated  a  dangerous 
plot.  They  also  declared  that  in  some  places  the 
Huguenots  had  again  raised  the  fortifications,  and 
that  the  deserters  of  the  faith  of  their  fathers 
aspired  to  the  highest  dignities  of  the  State ;  and  in 
conclusion  they  made  a  pathetic  appeal  for  the  pro- 
tection of  the  king. 

Mazarin,  a  very  inferior  man  to  Richelieu,  was 
alarmed,  and  the  council  published  a  declaration  which 
put  things  back  into  the  state  in  which  they  were  in 
the  days  of  Louis  XIII.     Not  only  was  the  exercise  of 

1  The  occasion  on  which  Milton  wrote  his  noble  sonnet : 
'  Avenge,  0  Lord,  Thy  slaughtered  saints.' 
A  poem  which  shows  how  Puritanism,  like  Huguenotism, 
had  drunk  in  the  spirit  of  the  Hebrew  Psalms. 


the  Protestant  religion  forbidden  in  places  where  it 
had  been  lately  established,  but  ministers  were  for- 
bidden to  call  themselves  pastors,  or  their  flocks, 

The  Edict  of  Nantes  had  mentioned  by  name  every 
commune  in  which  the  Protestants  were  to  have  the 
right  to  preach  ;  but  in  their  now  depressed  condition 
their  numbers  had  so  dwindled  that  there  were  not 
enough  to  support  a  pastor,  the  result  being  that 
several  such  communes  united  under  one  pastor.  The 
terms  of  the  Edict  being  precise  as  to  places,  the  only 
objection  the  authorities  could  take  was  to  question 
the  right  of  any  pastor  to  preach  out  of  the  place  in 
which  he  was  domiciled. 

The  Parliaments  lent  themselves  to  the  most  rigorous 
interpretation  of  the  law,  and  thus  this  pretext  was 
used  during  forty  years  to  suppress  more  and  more 
Protestant  preaching.  The  Huguenots  having  no 
longer  any  political  assemblies,  and  the  national  synod 
being  almost  extinct,  the  provincial  synods  sent  four 
deputies  in  1658  to  lay  their  troubles  before  the 
king.  However,  they  got  nothing  but  a  promise  that 
he  would  look  at  their  report  and  do  them  justice. 
Finally  he  promised  to  observe  the  Edict  of  Nantes, 
if  they  rendered  themselves  worthy  of  this  grace 
by  their  good  conduct,  fidelity,  and  affection  for  his 

In  1659,  Louis  XIV.,  by  the  treaty  of  the  Pyrenees, 
added  to  his  realm  Roussillon,  Artois,  and  Alsace. 
Conscious  of  his  immense  strength,  he  turned  the  last 
screw  of  the  garrote,  and  the  existence  of  Protestant 
France  as  a  national  Church  ceased,  except  in  so  far 
as  it  was  represented  by  a  solitary  courtier,  the 
Marquis  de  Euvigny.  Fifteen  years  had  elapsed  since 
a  national  synod  had  been  held;  one  was  now  per- 
mitted at  Loudun.     On  the  king's  side  all  was  menace. 

THE  SYNOD   OF  1659.  153 

recrimination,  accusation ;  on  the  side  of  the  Pro- 
testants all  was  humility,  abasement,  expressions  of 
gratitude.  The  commissioner  called  upon  them  to 
admire  the  benignity  of  the  king,  and  forbade  them 
to  make  any  complaint,  declaring  that  it  was  the  king 
who  had  the  most  reason  to  complain  of  them,  that 
their  infractions  of  the  Edict  had  even  reached  a 
supreme  degree  of  insolence,  for  they  had  recommenced 
preaching  in  Languedoc  and  elsewhere  after  it  was 
forbidden,  a  charge  which  had  been  made  fifteen  years 
before  at  Chareuton,  showing  that  they  could  not  find 
a  single  new  pretext  for  reproach. 

The  moderator,  Jean  Daille,  replied  in  a  submissive 
voice  :  '  We  receive  with  all  respect  and  all  possible 
humility  all  that  which  has  been  said  to  us  on  the 
part  of  his  majesty.'  In  return,  the  commissioner 
pressed  the  synod  to  close  its  sittings  quickly,  and 
plainly  told  them  this  would  be  the  last  synod  per- 
mitted. ^  The  expense  is  too  great,'  said  the  repre- 
sentative of  a  king  who  could  waste  millions  on  an 
ugly  and  useless  palace ;  ^  besides,  you  have  provincial 
synods,  which  meet  annually,  and  can  do  what  is 

Daille  replied  that  they  hoped  the  king  would  not 
deprive  them  of  his  liberalities,  but  as  the  synod  was 
an  absolute  necessity,  they  would  gladly  support  all  its 
expenses  themselves.  They  finally  resolved,  subject 
to  the  good  pleasure  of  his  majesty,  that  they  would 
hold  another  synod  at  Mmes  in  1662. 

But  Louis  XIV.  refused  absolutely  to  allow  it.  The 
national  synod  of  1659  was  last  held  by  permission  of 
authority.  Sixty-six  years  passed  before  another  was 
held,  and  then  it  was  in  secret,  in  the  Desert,  under 
the  heaviest  penalties. 



Further  Inroads  on  Huguenot  Liberty. 

After  Henry  lY.  tlie  Huguenots  never  had  better 
masters  than  tlie  cardinals  Riclielieu  and  Mazarin. 
When  the  latter  died,  in  16G1,  the  ministers  asked 
Louis  XIV.  to  whom  they  should  go.  ^  To  ??ie/  replied 
the  king. 

Persecution  at  once  increased.  Commissioners  were 
named  to  inquire  strictly  in  each  province  into  the 
violations  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes.  To  a  great  Catholic 
official,  powerful  at  court,  was  joined  some  unknown 
Calvinist,  who  was  occasionally  a  traitor.  Of  course 
the  Protestant  cause  was  generally  found  a  delinquent. 
Among  other  things,  the  commissioners  were  to  verify 
the  right  of  public  worship.  Many  churches  had 
never  had  legal  documents,  or  had  lost  them ;  the  con- 
sequence was  that  services  were  interdicted,  temples 
pulled  down,  schools  suppressed,  and  charities  confis- 
cated to  Catholic  uses. 

In  1663,  the  clergy,  on  the  application  of  its  assem- 
bly-general, obtained  a  law  pronouncing  the  penalty 
of  banishment  on  all  who  returned  to  the  Reformed 
communion  after  having  once  abjured  it.  They  could 
not,  it  was  said,  claim  the  benefit  of  the  Edict  of 
Nantes,  as  they  had  renounced  it,  and  returning  to 
heresy,  they  were  guilty  of  profaning  the  holy  mys- 
teries of  the  Catholic  religion.  The  law  was  suspended 
during  the  next  year;  it  was  probably  found  that 
banishment  was  losing  its  terrors,  even  for  Frenchmen. 

In  1665,  an  ordinance  of  the  council  authorized 
cures,  accompanied  by  a  magistrate,  to  go  to  houses 
where  there  were  any  sick  people,  and  to  ask  them  if 
they  wished  to  die  heretics,  or  to  be  converted  to  the 
true  religion. 


By  a  decree  of  tlie  24tli  of  October^  1665,  cliildren 
were  declared  capable  of  embracing  Catholicisra,  boys 
at  fourteen  years  of  age,  girls  at  twelve;  and  the 
parents  were  to  pay  for  tbeir  support  away  from  home. 
The  bishops,  not  satisfied  with  this,  complained  that 
the  age  was  far  too  high,  children  must  be  allowed  to 
enter  the  Catholic  Church  as  soon  as  they  expressed 
the  wish.  To  this  the  Government  practically  said,  'Do 
as  you  will.^  There  were  soon  many  juvenile  abjura- 
tions; and  when  the  parents  sought  justice  in  the  courts, 
claiming  that  the  children  were  not  legally  entitled  to 
abjure,  the  lawyers  proved  that  there  was  a  great  differ- 
ence between  inducing  a  child  to  change  its  religion, 
and  the  Church  opening  her  arms  to  receive  it  when  it 
presented  itself  by  a  sort  of  inspiration  from  heaven. 

The  desire  to  serve  one's  country  as  a  public  official  is 
a  legitimate,  and  may  be  a  noble  ambition;  the  Hugue- 
nots keenly  felt  their  exclusion  from  this  career. 
Colbert,  however,  finding  it  indispensable  to  have 
honest  men  in  the  Treasury,  opened  its  doors  to  the 
Huguenots.  There  was  some  precedent  for  it  in  the 
fact  that  under  Mazarin,  a  German  Protestant,  Bar- 
thelemy  Her  ward,  had  been  appointed  superintendent 
of  the  finances  and  maintained  there,  notwithstanding 
clerical  opposition.  But  of  course  the  chief  reason 
that  enabled  Colbert  to  act  as  he  did,  was  that  he 
was  himself  absolutely  indispensable  to  Louis  XIV.,  as 
the  man  who  supplied  all  the  money  for  his  ambitious 
wars.  Thus  the  Huguenots  came  into  the  Treasury, 
and,  by  their  power  of  organization,  econom}^,  and 
probity, '  became  the  most  reliable  farmers  and  com- 
missioners of  the  taxes  it  was  possible  for  Colbert  to 
find.  One  immediate  effect  was  the  rise  in  public 
esteem  of  the  whole  service;  and  though  it  was  the 
age  of  Moliere,  La  Fontaine,  and  Boileau,  the  Treasury 
officials  were  never  satirised. 


Shut  out  from  all  other  public  offices,  refused  ad- 
mission into  the  municipal  magistracy,  the  Protestants 
gave  themselves  up  to  trade  and  manufactures,  to 
agriculture  and  the  arts.  Their  lives  were  passed 
under  an  irritating  and  pettifogging  tyranny.  If  a 
procession  passed  their  temples  when  they  were  sing- 
ings they  were  compelled  to  leave  off.  They  must 
bury  their  dead  at  break  of  day  or  at  dusk,  and  only 
ten  persons  might  follow,  except  in  certain  cities, 
where  thirty  were  permitted.  They  could  only  marry 
at  times  fixed  by  the  canons  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church,  and  the  nuptial  procession  might  not,  in  pass- 
ing through  the  streets,  relatives  included,  number 
more  than  twelve  persons.  Rich  Churches  might  not 
support  the  ministers  of  poorer  ones,  besides  other 
injurious  restrictions. 

This  sure  and  steady  process  of  slow  starvation  did 
not,  however,  satisfy  eager  spirits  like  that  of  the 
Bishop  of  Uzes,  who  in  the  General  Assembly  of  the 
clergy,  in  1665,  declared  to  the  king  that  it  was 
needful  to  work  with  more  ardour,  in  order  to  cause 
this  terrible  monster  of  heresy  to  yield  up  its  last 
breath.  He  asked  that  henceforth  no  one  should  be 
allowed  to  go  out  of  the  Roman  Church,  adding 
that  twenty-two  dioceses  in  Languedoc  had  demanded 
this  law  of  the  provincial  states,  and  that  all  the 
dioceses  of  the  kingdom  were  ready  to  seal  it  with 
their  blood. 

This  proposal  was  not  carried  out ;  but  next  year  an 
enormous  concession  was  made  to  the  clergy,  for  all 
the  judgments  which  had  been  given  in  individual 
cases  were  embodied  into  a  general  law,  thus  rendering 
perpetual  the  various  successful  efforts  made  to  restrain 
the  liberties  granted  by  the  Edict  of  Nantes.  This 
was  the  commencement  of  the  emigration,  and  of  the 
great  sympathy  which  more  and  more  manifested  itself 


in  foreign  countries.  The  Elector  of  Brandenburg 
made  representatious  on  behalf  of  the  oppressed 
Huguenots.  England  and  Sweden  also  manifested 
their  interest.  The  result  was  that  niue  of  the  articles 
in  this  new  law  were  suppressed  and  twenty-one 


The  Huguenots  and  the  King. 

Unbelief  and  despotism^  faith  and  liberty — these  two 
sets  of  parents  make  opposing  worlds.  Protestantism 
was  born  of  the  latter,  and  was,  therefore,  always 
inimical  to,  and  hated  by,  the  former.  In  France  the 
world  formed  by  unbelief  and  despotism  grew  stronger 
through  every  decade  of  this  seventeenth  century.  In 
the  last  quarter  of  this  period  it  reached  maturity,  and 
exhibited  fruits  which  render  its  history  one  of  the 
saddest,  but,  at  the  same  time,  one  of  the  most  instruc- 
tive pages  in  history.  Let  us  not  think  that  we  can 
afford  to  be  ignorant  of  its  warnings.  The  Apostle 
Paul,  than  whom  none  knew  better  that  the  world  had 
outlived  the  Mosaic  economy,  said,  referring  to  some 
of  the  facts  of  its  history  :  '  These  thiugs  were  written 
for  our  instruction,  on  whom  the  ends  of  the  world  are 

This  terrible  despotism  was  able  to  impose  itself  on 
France,  and  to  reach  such  a  point  because  it  was  in 
harmony  with  public  opinion.  Everybody,  from  the 
beggar  to  the  prince,  believed  in  it.  Even  the  bulk 
of  the  Protestants  conceived  it  their  highest  earthly 
duty,  as  well  as  their  greatest  earthly  advantage,  to  be 
employed  in  maintaining  this  despotism.  What  was 
the  object  of  Louis  Fourteenth's  wars  but  to  establish 
this   despotism  over  Europe  ?     And  every  victory  he 


gained  enabled  liim  to  tread  more  heavily  on  the  nccl: 
of  France^  and  crush  without  fear  the  last  breath  frori 
the  Huguenot  Churches,  prostrate  and  dying.  Ard 
yet  the  Reformed  Churches  of  France  duly  returned 
thanks  for  those  victories  in  their  temples.  It  was  as 
if  the  children  of  Ahaz  had  returned  thanks  to  Jehovah 
for  the  triumphs  of  the  idol  at  whose  shrine  they  were 
about  to  be  sacrificed. 

There  was  it  would  seem  hardly  anything  the 
Huguenots  felt  more  than  to  be  shut  out  of  the  public 
offices,  nothing  which  their  historians  record  with 
more  pleasure  than  the  way  Colbert  filled  the  finance 
department  with  Protestants,  and  maintained  them 
there  as  long  as  he  lived.  It  never  seems  to  have 
occurred  to  the  Huguenots,  or  even  to  their  modern 
historians,  that  they  were  devoting  all  their  virtue  and 
all  their  pains  to  strengthening  the  system  which  was 
steadily  crushing  out  the  only  cause  worth  living  for — 
the  cause  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  The  reflection, 
obvious  enough  now,  that  all  their  savings  only  helped 
Louis  to  slaughter,  to  waste  more  money  in  his  lusts 
and  follies,  does  not  appear  to  have  crossed  their  minds. 
Colbert  saw  it  at  last,  could  not  escape  from  it,  and  it 
killed  him.  But  the  Huguenot  officials  went  on  like  a 
hive  of  busy  bees  making*  honey  for  the  wasps,  until 
the  latter,  unable  to  restrain  themselves  any  longer, 
drove  out  all  the  bees  and  ate  up  all  the  honey. 

This  universal  blindness  is  Louis  Fourteenth's  best 
excuse.  ^  He  was  deified,^  says  St.  Simon,  '  in  the 
midst  of  Christianity.''  A  statue  was  erected  to  him 
in  the  Place  des  Yictoires,  with  the  inscription,  Yiro 
Immortali.  Says  the  great  Jurieu  in  his  noble  work, 
TJiG  8iglis  of  Enslaved  France  :  ^  The  King  of  France 
believes  himself  tied  to  no  laws.  He  is  persuaded 
that  his  will  is  the  law  of  right  and  wrong,  and  that  he 
is  answerable  to  God  alone.     He  is  absolute  master 


of  tlie  life^  liberty,  persons,,  goods,  religion,  aucl  con- 
science of  his  subjects/ 

Bossuet  and  Louis  XIV.  were  entirely  in  accord  on 
the  absolute  authority  which  kings  have  over  their 
subjects;  but  there  was  one  point  where  Bossuet 
stopped — he  did  not  admit  the  right  of  the  king  over 
private  property. 

Louis  made  no  such  reserve, 

'  All/  he  said,  ^  which  is  found  in  the  whole  extent 
o£  our  states,  of  whatever  nature  it  may  be,  belongs 
to  us  by  the  same  title.  The  moneys  in  our  privy 
purse,  those  which  remain  in  the  hands  of  our  trea- 
surers, and  iliose  that  lue  leave  in  the  commerce  of  our 
people,  ought  to  be  equally  looked  after  by  us.  Kings 
are  absolute  lords,  and  have  naturally  the  full  and  free 
disposition  of  all  the  goods  which  are  possessed  as  well 
by  Churchmen  as  by  the  laity,  for  use  at  any  time 
according  to  the  general  want.' 


Public  Opinion  and  the  Huguenots. 

To  comprehend  the  story  before  us,  it  is  necessary  to 
understand  the  nature  of  the  public  opinion  which 
could  glory  in  such  a  monarch,  while  it  pursued  with 
unrelenting  animosity  the  small  section  of  the  popula- 
tion who  would  not  prostrate  themselves  at  full  length 
before  the  colossal  idol  the  followers  of  Macchiavelli 
and  of  Loyola  had  combined  to  set  up. 

Bossuet's  opinions  may  be  taken  as  those  of  the 
French  clergy.  With  him  they  embraced  the  whole 
sphere  of  things,  with  them  they  centred  on  the  one 
subject  that  engaged  their  thoughts — the  absolute,  un- 
questioned supremacy  of  the  Church.  '  The  one  source 
of  all  our  misfortunes,'  said  the  Bishop  of  Valence  to 


an  assembly  of  clergy  ia  1685,  'is,  as  you  know,  my 
lords,  lieresy.  The  destruction  of  heresy  is  our  one 
business.  Until  now  it  has  been  very  difficult,  but 
now  nothing  escapes  the  zeal,  penetration,  and  under- 
standing of  the  king.  However,  as  the  malice  of 
heretics  is  unbounded,  there  are  many  things  the 
heart  of  a  kiug  so  good  and  so  generous  has  not  been 
able  to  discover.  There  are  many  enterprises  yet  to 
repress.  But  this  ought  to  console  us ;  we  are  assured 
of  success.^ 

Madame  de  Sevigne  is  one  of  the  best  representa- 
tives of  '  Society '  in  the  age  of  Louis  XIV.  To 
genius  and  good-humour  she  added  such  virtue  as  to 
appear  quite  a  paragon  among  her  contemporaries. 
Nevertheless  she  thinks  it  an  honour  to  be  a  partner 
with  the  sharpest  hand  at  the  king^s  gambling-table 
and  to  chat  with  the  king's  mistress ;  while  of  the 
Huguenots  she  speaks  as  '  those  demons,^  '  those 
wretched  Huguenots,  who  come  out  of  their  holes  to 
pray  to  God,  and  who  disappear  like  ghosts  directly 
you  seek  them  and  want  to  exterminate  them.'  She 
expresses  herself  with  her  usual  vivacity  on  the 
Dragonnades,  which  evidently  met  with  her  approval. 
'  The  dragoons  have  been  very  good  missionaries  until 
now;  the  preachers'  (Bourdaloue,  etc.)  Hhat  are  going 
to  be  immediately  sent  will  render  the  work  perfect.' 
What  she  and  her  correspondent,  the  Comte  de  Bussy 
Rabutin,  thought  of  the  king  and  the  Huguenots 
comes  out  in  the  following  extract  from  a  letter 
addressed  to  her  by  the  comte  soon  after  the  Revo- 
cation of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  :  '  I  admire  the  way  the 
king  has  managed  the  ruin  of  the  Huguenots.  He 
had  undermined  this  sect  by  degrees,  and  the  edict  he 
has  just  given,  sustained  by  dragoons  and  Bourdaloues, 
will  be  their  coxij)  de  grace.'' 

If    it    is    sad   to   find    persons    like    Bossuet   and 


Madame  de  Sevigne  sharing  in  and  doing  their  very 
best  to  form  the  horrible  public  opinion  of  the  day, 
it  is  still  sadder  when  we  come  to  find  the  people 
themselves  animated  by  it^  and  making  themselves  its 

It  is  true  there  have  been  times  and  occasions  when 
the  masses  of  the  people  have  raged  against  the 
preachers  of  the  Gospel,  and  joined  in  their  persecu- 
tion, but  it  has  only  been  for  a  time ;  it  has  almost 
always  ended  in  the  people  returning  to  the  attitude 
in  which  they  received  it  from  the  Lord  Himself. 
But  here  we  find  the  persecution  persistent,  and 
unprovoked  by  anything  in  the  way  of  preaching ;  for 
a  Huguenot  pastor  could  not  preacli  outside  a  temple. 

No  doubt  fanaticism  had  much  to  do  with  it,  and 
example  still  more ;  but  this  would  hardly  explain  the 
antipathy  the  people  displayed  in  not  only  enduring 
unmoved  the  ever-increasing  cruelty  and  injustice 
with  which  the  Huguenots  were  treated,  but  in  giving 
that  cruelty  and  injustice  their  help  and  support. 

Abraham  Bosse's  engravings  show  us  how  pro- 
sperous the  Huguenots  were,  how  they  dwelt  in  a 
Land  of  Goshen.  But  we  hardly  need  proof  of  the 
fact :  a  religious,  industrious  people,  holding  together, 
must  become  rich  ;  it  is  the  universal  law.  In  this 
case  it  was  rendered  more  certain  by  the  fact  that 
the  Calvinist  Churclies  were  chiefly  recruited  from  the 
trading  classes  in  the  towns.  The  sight  of  this  pro- 
sperity, in  the  midst  of  so  much  misery,  could  not  fail 
to  arouse  envy,  suspicion,  hatred.  The  disabilities 
under  whicli  the  Huguenots  laboured,  and  a  great 
lacuna  in  the  creed  upon  which  their  character  was 
formed,  led  tliem  into  positions  which  gave  ground 
for  dislike,  and  intensified  the  popular  disfavour. 
Excluded  from  all  the  learned  professions  and  all 
the  public  offices,  they  were  necessarily  drivon   into 



buying  and  selling  the  ordinary  commodities  of  life^  or_, 
if  capitalists,  of  dealing  in  money.  The  Reformers, 
early  accused  of  Antinomianism^  had  made  much  of 
the  moral  law ;  but  it  was  that  of  the  Old  Testament 
rather  than  the  New.  The  Sermon  on  the  Mount, 
which  was  the  true  antidote  to  the  snares  and  temp- 
tations of  such  a  position,  had  far  from  an  adequate 
place  in  Calvinistic  theology.  It  is  easy  to  see  how  a 
people  thus  situated  must  necessarily  play  the  part  of 
Pharaoh's  fat  kine,  a  law  only  to  be  avoided  by  their 
obedience  to  the  laws  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 

The  unpopularity  brought  about  by  this  condition 
of  things  must  have  been  further  aggravated  by  the 
way  in  which  Huguenots  assisted  Colbert  in  wringing 
the  taxes  out  of  the  people.  This  eminent  statesman, 
by  the  force  of  his  violent  will  and  his  tremendous 
energy,  galvanised  France,  and  made  it  for  a  few 
years  a  Titan  in  war  and  commerce.  Holland  and 
England  were  becoming  plethoric  with  wealth  gained 
by  their  world-embracing  marine.  France  should 
have  the  same,  should  share  with  these  powers  the 
commerce  of  the  globe.  Colbert  did  what  he  deter- 
mined. In  four  years  he  had  built  seventy  men-of- 
war,  in  six  years  he  had  a  fleet  of  194  ships.  To  man 
it,  all  sailors  were  declared  to  belong  to  the  king,  so 
that  they  could  at  any  time  be  impressed,  and  made  to 
serve  on  board  the  royal  navy.  But  the  creation  of 
this  fleet  was  not  the  end ;  it  was  a  means  to  seize 
and  maintain  a  commerce  which  had  to  be  created. 
Colbert  invited  new  industries  into  France,  and  to 
give  them  a  chance  of  rooting,  he  passed  prohibitory 
duties  on  English  and  Dutch  linens  and  cloths.  In 
three  or  four  years  wool  alone  kept  44,000  looms 
going.  An  enormous  development  of  trade  suddenly 
took  place  in  Lyons,  and  great  fortunes  were  made. 
Still  further,  to  give  life  and  impetus  to  this  impro- 

COLBERT.  163 

vised  commerce,  colonies  were  bouglit,  commercial 
companies  started,  something  like  chambers  of  com-= 
merce  instituted,  and  roads  constructed. 

For  all  these  things  immense  sums  of  money  were 
wanted,  and  how  to  force  it  out  of  a  people  starving 
and  impoverished  was  the  great  question.  Perhaps  it 
might  have  been  comparatively  easy  if  Colbert  had 
been  king,  and  his  work  only  one  of  peace  and  the 
development  of  trade ;  but  there  were  Louis  XIV.  and 
Louvois,  with  their  great  wars  and  enormous  armies  ; 
there  was  a  vast  body  of  idle  nobility  wasting  their 
lives  and  their  goods  at  court ;  there  were  myriads  of 
priests  and  nuns  who  had  to  live,  and  added  nothing 
to  the  general  wealth.  To  sustain  all  this  expense 
and  all  this  waste,  Colbert  became  a  tyrant.  The  laws 
gave  him  thirty  or  forty  means  of  raising  money.  In 
the  expressive  language  of  Jurieu,  ^  A  thousand 
channels  were  open  by  which  he  could  draw  the  blood 
of  the  people.^  '  France,^  said  the  same  writer,  '  pays 
200,000,0001  taxes.  All  the  rest  of  the  rulers  in 
Europe,  Spain,  England,  Sweden,  Denmark,  the  em- 
peror and  all  the  German  and  Italian  princes,  the 
republics  of  Holland  and  Venice,  do  not  altogether 
get  as  much  out  of  their  subjects.^  For  nowhere 
else  was  such  a  rack-rent  system  attempted.  It  was 
worked  by  farmers-general,  who  were  responsible  for 
the  taxes  of  a  district.  In  the  villages  the  taxes  were 
collected  by  the  notables,  who  were  made  answerable 
in  their  own  persons  and  property,  and  who,  when  they 
attempted  the  collection,  were  obliged  to  go  about 
in  a  body,  or  they  would  have  been  stoned.  In  the 
end  the  people  were  robbed  of  everything,  furniture, 
cattle,    money,    corn,    wine ;    the    prisons   were    full. 

^  Jurieu  no  doubt  means  livres.  The  livre  tournois  was  the 
unit  of  the  French  monetary  system,  and  was  worth  a  trifle 
more  than  a  frauc. 


Colbert  died  cursed  by  the  people.  It  troubled  him 
as  he  lay  on  his  death-bed.  ^  Had  1/  he  said,  ^  done  for 
God  what  I  have  done  for  this  man  '  (Louis  XIV.),  ^I 
should  be  sure  of  being  saved,  but  now  I  know  not 
where  I  am  goiug.'  The  Huguenots  were,  as  we  have 
stated,  his  best  assistants.  *  They  entered,'  says  Elie 
Benoit,  '  into  the  farms  and  the  commissions,  and  ren- 
dered themselves  so  necessary  in  affairs  of  this  kind 
that  Fouquet,  even  as  well  as  Colbert,  could  not  do 
without  them. 

No  doubt,  whatever  there  was  of  justice,  humanity, 
disinterestedness  was  found  among  the  Huguenot 
officials ;  but  the  people  could  not  distinguish  one  from 
another.  The  system  was  so  terribly  oppressive  that 
a  single  clerk  of  the  taxes  appeared  many  times  more 
a  worse  foe  than  a  sea  of  40,000  leagues  with  its 
pirates  and  its  storms. 


The  Conversion  and  Jubilee  op  the  King  Inaugurate 

A  New  Series  of  Persecutions. 

This  glance  at  public  opinion  in  France  during  the 
later  half  of  the  seventeenth  century  will  enable  us 
better  to  understand  the  persistent  persecution  with 
which  the  Protestants  were  pursued,  a  persecution 
tending  more  and  more  to  extermination.  The  very 
existence  of  a  people  claiming  the  right  to  think 
differently  from  the  king  on  the  most  important  of  all 
questions  was  a  menace  to  absolute  authority,  and 
thus  for  political  reasons  there  had  been  this  persis- 
tent persecution  from  the  accession  of  Louis  XIII.  in 
IGIO,  to  the  jubilee  of  Louis  XIV.  in  1676.  But  when 
in  that  year,  owing  to  the  so-called  conversion  of  the 
king,  religious  motives  were  added  to  political  ones, 



the  persecution  took  a  more  exterminatory  form,  and 
did  not  cease  until  it  seemed  to  have  extirpated 
Calvinism  to  its  very  roots. 

The  conversion  of  the  king  to  exterior  morality  and 
religion  is  attributed  to  his  last  mistress  and  second 
wife,  Madame  de  Maintenon,  a  grand-daughter  of  the 
great  Agrippa  d'Aubigne,  who  through  the  miserable 
character  of  her  father  was  brought  up  in  a  convent 
and  made  a  Catholic.  Her  influence  over  the  king 
exceeded  that  exercised  by  any  other  person  in  the 
whole  of  his  career,  for  she  was  a  very  serious  person, 
and  knew  how  to  affect  his  conscience.  She  must 
therefore  bear  with  his  other  intimate  advisers — his 
confessor,  Pere  la  Chaise ;  his  chancellor,  Le  Tellier ; 
and  his  minister,  Louvois, — the  blame  of  all  the  fright- 
ful iniquity  which  now  ensued. 

Perhaps  it  was  the  ability  the  Huguenots  had  dis- 
played in  the  management  of  the  royal  finances  that 
induced  the  king  and  his  council  to  believe  that  they 
were  specially  devoted  to  money-making,  and  might 
easily  be  bought  if  each  man  was  duly  paid  his  price. 
To  this  good  work  Louis  determined  to  consecrate  a 
third  of  his  savings,  as  well  as  the  proceeds  of  all  the 
benefices  that  fell  iu,  the  temporals  of  which  he  took 
until  the  see  was  filled  up.  A  bank  was  opened,  and 
Pellison,  a  new  convert  to  the  king's  religion,  was 
appointed  its  director.  It  had  its  agents  all  over  the 
provinces,  and  a  regular  system  of  business.  No 
more  than  a  hundred  francs  a  head  was  to  be  given, 
and  less  in  the  general  way.  More  might,  however, 
be  granted  in  special  cases,  if  explained  to  his  majesty, 
and  he  should  judge  it  advisable.  PeUison  soon  pre- 
sented a  list  of  eight  hundred  converts;  the  miracle 
was  trumpeted  forth  in  the  gazettes.  But  ere  long  it 
had  to  be  whispered  to  the  king  that  he  was  being 
duped,  that  the  people  bought  were  rogues.     Where- 


upon  Louis  enacted  that  the  rogues  should  not  escape 
the  chance  of  being  reformed  by  Catholic  discipline, 
for  any  relapse  back  again  into  Protestantism  was  to 
be  punished  with  perpetual  banishment  and  confis- 
cation of  goods. 

Bribery  having  failed,  Louis  reverted  to  force.  It 
was  soon  understood  throughout  the  official  world  that 
there  was  no  better  way  to  please  the  king  than  to 
assist  him  in  his  great  work  of  extirpating  heresy  from 
France ;  and  very  soon  every  one  in  authority  began  to 
enter  into  this  congenial  line  of  converting  the  Hugue- 
nots by  force.  One  civil  right  after  another  was  taken 
away ;  they  were  attacked  in  their  tenderest  points — 
family  life  and  religious  worship.  The  chambers  of 
the  Edict  in  Paris  and  Rouen  were  suppressed  in  1669, 
and  the  mixed  chambers  in  the  Parliaments  of  Toulouse, 
Grenoble,  and  Bordeaux  in  1679.  The  provincial  par- 
liaments had  long  distinguished  themselves  by  the 
severity  with  which  they  carried  out  all  the  cruel  laws 
against  heresy.  In  1664,  Elie  Saurin,  the  Protestant 
theologian,  passed  the  ^  holy  sacrament  ^  without  raising 
his  hat.  He  was  condemned  by  the  Grenoble  Parliament 
to  be  conducted  in  his  shirt,  barefooted,  a  lighted 
candle  weighing  two  pounds  in  his  hand,  and  a  halter 
round  his  neck,  to  the  principal  door  of  the  chief  church 
in  Embrun,  and  there  to  declare  that  he  had  foolishly 
and  audaciously  passed  before  the  holy  sacrament  of 
the  altar  without  raising  his  hat,  that  he  repented  of  it, 
and  asked  pardon  of  God,  the  king,  and  the  court, 
after  which  he  was  to  be  banished  in  perpetuity. 

During  the  next  year  a  man  of  high  Catholic  family, 
Louis  Rambard,  spoke  against  the  holy  sacrament,  but 
consenting  to  remain  Catholic,  he  was  not  then  pro- 
ceeded against.  Ten  years  elapsed,  and  he  became  a 
Protestant,  whereupon  this  same  Parliament  of  Grenoble 
sentenced  him  to  all  the  indignities  they  proposed  for 


Saurin,  and  in  addition  to  have  his  tongue  cut  out, 
then  to  be  hanged  and  strangled  until  natural  (6*ic) 
death  ensued,  when  his  body  was  to  be  burnt  and  his 
ashes  scattered  to  the  winds.  He  was  to  pay  1,000 
livres  to  buy  a  silver  lamp  for  the  Church  of  Die,  and 
500  more  to  buy  a  piece  of  ground  to  maintain  it ;  in 
addition  he  was  to  give  1,000  livres  to  repair  the  said 
church,  and  fifty  livres  fine  to  the  king  to  pay  the 
cost  of  his  trial.  Rambard  was  able  to  escape  to 
Geneva,  and  so  to  evade  his  cruel  persecutors;  but  the 
extreme  barbarity  of  the  sentence  shows  how  much  the 
Protestants  lost  by  the  suppression  of  the  mixed  cham- 
bers in  which  they  were  represented. 

Children  were  carried  off  as  early  as  1676.  By  an 
edict  of  June  17th,  1684,  it  was  ordained  that  any 
child  over  seven  years  of  age  could  abjure  the  pre- 
tended Reformed  religion,  and  embrace  that  of  the 
Church  of  Rome,  its  parents  not  being  allowed  to 
prevent  it  on  any  pretext  whatsoever,  but  were 
required  all  the  same  to  provide  for  its  maintenance. 
The  slightest  act  was  sufficient  as  sign  of  adhesion. 
Children  were  torn  from  their  parents,  especially  from 
the  rich,  who  could  pay  a  good  sum  for  board,  and 
were  then  shut  up  in  a  convent  or  a  monastery.  Parents, 
it  appears,  tried  to  save  their  little  ones  by  sending 
them  out  of  the  country  ;  a  law  was  enacted  forbidding 
this  to  be  done  before  a  child  was  sixteen  years  of  age. 
AH  illegitimate  children,  of  whatever  sex  or  condition, 
were  to  be  brought  up  as  Catholics ;  and  this  law  being 
retrospective,  persons  of  sixty  or  eighty  years  of  age 
who  had  had  the  misfortune  to  come  into  the  world 
under  these  conditions  were  now  summoned  to  enter 
the  Church  of  Rome.  In  pursuance  of  this  war  on 
Huguenot  domestic  life,  Protestants  were  forbidden  to 
marry  Catholics,  or  to  become  guardians  or  trustees 
even  to  their  nearest  relatives.    They  were  not  allowed 


to  have  Catholics  for  valets^  and  then  by  a  contradic- 
tory law  they  were  to  have  none  but  Catholics. 

In  order  to  entice  into  abjuration  those  who  were 
deeply  in  debt,  a  law  was  made  granting  a  delay  of 
payment  for  three  years  to  the  newly  converted,  the 
main  inconvenience  falling,  it  is  natural  to  suppose,  on 
their  Huguenot  friends.  Another  bribe  held  out  was 
remission  of  the  taxes  for  two  years  to  the  newly  con- 
verted; those  remaining  recalcitrant  paying  double 
the  usual  rate,  in  order  that  the  treasury  might  not 
lose  by  its  generosity. 

Medical  men,  surgeons,  and  others  attending  the 
sick,  were  ordered,  under  a  heavy  penalty,  to  give  notice 
to  the  magistrates  of  a  district,  who  were  bound  to 
pay  domiciliary  visits,  in  order  to  ask  sick  persons  if 
they  wished  to  abjure. 

8uch  was  the  activity  of  the  legists  in  these  days 
that  between  the  year  1660  and  October,  1685,  there 
were  fulminated   in  France  309  orders,  declarations, 
and  edicts  against  the  Huguenots.     The  pastors  were 
more  and    more   hampered,  until   the   moment  came 
for   putting   an   end  to   their  work  ;   meanwhile  they 
were  not  allowed  to  complain  of  the   sadness  of  the 
times.    They  were  obliged  to  live  six  leagues  from  any 
place   where    worship    was   interdicted,   and    at    least 
three  from   any  place  where   it  was   contested.      No 
gatherings  were  to  take  place  in  the  temples  under 
pretext  of  prayers  and  singing  psalms,  except  at  the 
accustomed  hours.     No  convert  to  Catholicism  was  to 
be  received  into  a  temple  under  pain  of  banishment 
and  conliscation  of  goods  for  the  pastor,  and  interdic- 
tion of  all  religious  worship  for  the  flock.     Under  this 
law  it  was  very  easy  to  demolish  a  temple  and  destroy 
religious  worship,  as,  for  example,  at  Montpellier,  where 
a  young  girl  named  Isabeau  Paulet,  who  had  escaped 
from  a  convent,  where  they  had  not  succeeded  in  con- 


verting  her,  entered  the  temple  unknown  to  the  pastor, 
in  consequence  of  which  the  Parb'ament  of  Toulouse 
interdicted  him  from  ever  again  exercising  his  ministry, 
abolished  the  evangelic  worship  in  Montpellier,  and 
ordered  the  demolition  of  the  temple  in  a  fortnight 
(1682).  The  demolition  of  temples  went  on  every- 
where. In  1664,  one  of  the  temples  of  Nimes  was  thus 
pulled  down,  as  well  as  those  of  Grenoble,  Montauban, 
Montagnac,  Alencon,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty-two 
churches  of  Lower  Languedoc,  of  the  Upper  Ce venues, 
and  Provence.  In  the  diocese  of  Valence,  twenty-four 
were  destroyed  in  two  years.  In  1684,  in  the  Dauphine 
alone,  twenty-four  churches  were  suppressed  by  an 
order  in  council.  Between  1660  and  1684  no  less 
than  570  Protestant  temples  were  closed  or  demolished 
in  France,  just  upon  two-thirds  of  the  whole  number 
the  Reformed  Churches  possessed.  The  destruction  of 
some  of  these  places  was  accompanied  by  popular 
violence,  as  at  Blois  and  AlenQon,  where  the  mob 
rushed  into  the  temples,  tore  up  the  books,  the  seats, 
and  the  pulpit,  and  then  burnt  them. 

Nor  was  it  only  their  temples  of  which  they  were 
deprived  :  colleges,  academies,  hospitals,  shared  the 
same  fate.  The  academy  at  Nimes  was  suppressed  in 
1664,  and  that  of  Sedan  in  1681.  The  ruin  of  that  of 
Montauban  had  been  effected  soon  after  1661.  Those 
of  Die,  Saumur,  and  Puylaurens,  were  all  condemned 
in  1684,  the  property  of  the  first  named  being  made 
over  to  the  Hospital  de  la  Croix.  In  a  similar  way 
the  furniture  of  the  Protestant  hospital  at  Nimes  was 
in  1667  handed  over  to  the  Catholic  hospital,  and  the 
building  turned  into  an  orphan  asylum  for  Catholics 
or  those  who  desired  to  become  such. 

Louis  XIV.,  in  fact,  boldly  illustrated  his  theory  of 
the  right  of  the  crown  to  dispose  of  everything  in 
France  according  to  his  view  of   the   general   want. 


All  the  funds  for  the  support  of  the  Protestant  poor 
were  seized,  and  the  recipients  sent  to  the  Catholic 
hospitals.     Legacies  to  consistories  were  also  annulled. 

In  fact,  these  bodies  could  no  longer  meet,  except  in 
the  presence  of  a  royal  commissioner,  the  business 
they  had  to  transact  being  about  the  most  doleful 
possible,  since  it  consisted  in  the  receipt  of  orders, 
proclamations,  edicts,  each  registering  another  step  in 
ruin.  Sometimes  they  had  to  receive  the  intendant  of 
the  province,  accompanied  by  a  retinue  of  officers  and 
priests,  and  humbly  listen  to  his  orders.  Sometimes 
they  had  to  appease  tumults  rising  among  their  long- 
suffering  people ;  and  all  through  they  were  themselves 
split  into  fractions,  whose  alienation  grew  every  day 
in  intensity. 

Sometimes  they  sought  spiritual  strength  and  con- 
solation by  a  day  of  fasting  and  prayer.  Thus  the 
Synod  of  Lower  Languedoc  assembled  at  Uzes  in 
May,  1669,  composed  of  seventy  pastors  and  fifty-three 
elders,  and  after  having  meditated  on  the  evils  of  the 
time,  they  celebrated,  ^  in  order  to  appease  the  anger 
of  God,  which,^  they  conceived,  ^  weighed  burning  and 
terrible  on  the  Churches,^  an  extraordinary  fast,  during 
which  they  listened  to  four  successive  sermons.  At 
the  conclusion  of  this  austere  service,  the  members  of 
the  assembly  gave  each  other  the  kiss  of  peace  and 
the  right  hand  of  fellowship,  commending  each  other 
to  God  and  the  Word  of  His  grace. 


The  Booted  Mission. 

Louvois,  annoyed  to  find  that  with  the  cessation  of 
war  and  the  rise  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  his  in- 
fluence with  the  king  had  ceased,  determined  to  throw 


liimself  into  the  movement  o£  the  day^  the  conversion 
of  Huguenots^  and  thereupon  organized  what  is  now 
known  as  la  mission  hottee — the  booted  mission. 

In  his  capacity  of  war  minister  he  had  the  control 
of  the  troops,  and  accordingly  he  sent  a  regiment  of 
cavalry  into  Poitou,  with  orders  to  Marillac,  the  inten- 
dantj  to  quarter  the  greater  number  on  the  Protestants. 
'  Where/  he  said,  ^  by  a  fair  division  the  religionaries 
should  have  ten,  you  can  give  them  twenty .■*  Marillac 
entered  into  the  spirit  of  his  orders,  for  he  marched  as 
if  he  were  in  a  hostile  country,  causing  his  troops  to 
collect  all  the  arrears  of  the  taxes,  exempting  converts 
and  throwing  the  whole  burden  on  those  who  obsti- 
nately adhered  to  their  religion.  About  four  to  ten 
dragoons  were  lodged  in  each  Protestant  home,  with 
orders  not  to  kill  their  victims,  but  to  do  everything 
they  possibly  could  to  wrest  from  them  an  abjuration. 
Their  amusements  were  from  their  own  point  of  view 
as  blasphemous  as  they  were  cruel,  for  to  make  them 
kiss  the  cross  they  tied  it  to  their  mouths,  or  dug  them 
Avith  it  under  the  ribs ;  they  struck  the  children  with 
their  canes  or  the  flat  of  their  swords  or  the  butt  end 
of  their  muskets,  and  that  in  so  violent  a  manner  as 
sometimes  to  lame  the  victim.  They  flogged  the 
women  with  whips,  or  struck  them  in  their  faces  with 
their  canes ;  they  dragged  them  through  the  mud  by 
the  hair  of  their  head ;  they  tore  the  labourers  from 
their  ploughs,  and  drove  them  to  church  with  their 
own  ox-goads. 

Many  felt  these  things  beyond  endurance,  and 
determined  to  quit  France.  Thousands  of  Huguenot 
families  emigrated ;  what,  however,  most  alarmed  the 
government  was  the  flight  of  a  great  number  of  the 
sailors,  who  went  off  en  masse.  The  intendants  were 
ordered  to  desist,  and  the  laws  against  emigration 
were  put  into  vigorous  execution  :  penal  servitude  for 


life  on  the  galleys  to  heads  of  families  flyings  a  fine  of 
3,000  livres  to  all  who  helped  them  to  do  so,  while  all 
contracts  entered  into  by  emigrants  for  a  twelvemonth 
previous  to  their  departure  were  annulled. 

During  the  years  that  elapsed  between  the  first 
Dragonnades  and  the  Revocation,  every  man  had  to 
choose  between  life  and  all  he  held  dear  and  his  con- 
science; there  was  no  escape.  Pilate,  when  he  saw 
Jesus  Christ  at  his  bar,  when  he  beheld  that  face  on 
which  the  most  virulent  could  discern  no  trace  of  evil, 
Pilate  when  he  heard  the  cry,  '  Crucify  Him  !  crucify 
Him  !  ^  could  not  help  exclaiming,  ^  Why,  what  evil 
hath  He  done  ? '  so  all  Europe  in  astonishment  and 
pity  must  have  exclaimed  as  they  heard  of  this  atro- 
cious persecution. 

^  Are  we,'  cried  Jurieu,  in  1683,  ^  Turks?  Are  we 
infidels  ?  We  believe  in  Jesus  Christ ;  we  believe  in 
the  eternal  Son  of  God,  the  Redeemer  of  the  world ; 
the  maxims  of  our  morality  are  of  a  purity  so  great 
that  none  would  dare  to  deny  them ;  we  respect 
kings;  we  are  good  subjects,  good  citizens;  we  are 
French  as  much  as  we  are  reformed  Christians.' 

The  Protestants  continued  to  send  up  the  story 
of  their  sufferings  to  the  court,  the  privy  council, 
to  the  king  himself.  Ruvigny,  their  deputy-general, 
represented  to  Louis  the  great  misery  of  two  millions 
of  his  subjects.  The  king,  it  is  said,  answered, 
that  to  recall  all  his  subjects  to  Catholic  unity,  he 
would  give  one  of  his  arms,  or  with  one  hand  cut  off 
the  other. 

Was  this  fanaticism  ?  Was  it  not  rather  the  Ahab- 
spirit  on  the  grandest  scale  ?  As  long  as  that  little 
Huguenot  garden  of  herbs  existed  outside  the  Ludo- 
vican  Church  and  State,  Europe  itself  would  not  have 
made  Louis  happy.  To  the  camarilla  about  him  the 
ruin  of  the  French  Naboth  brought  literally    results 


similar  in   kind    to    those    attending   the  fate   of  the 
Hebrew  prototype. 

'  I  beg  you/  writes  Madame  de  Maintenon  (Septem- 
ber 2nd,  1681)  to  her  brother,  who  was  about  to  receive 
a  gratuity  of  800,000  livres,  ^  to  employ  advanta- 
geously the  money  ^ow.  are  going  to  have.  The  estates 
in  Poitou  are  going  for  nothing,  the  desolation  of  the 
Huguenots  will  make  them  go  on  selling.  You  will 
be  able  with  ease  to  establish  yourself  grandly  in 


Some  Huguenots  Attempt  to  Appeal  to  the 
Conscience  of  Feance. 

We  have  already  noted  the  contradictory  law  about 
valets;  in  1683  similarly  opposing  enactments  were 
published  concerning  the  attendance  of  Catholics  in 
Protestant  temples  ;  by  an  ordinance  of  the  8tli  of 
March,  ministers  who  received  a  Catholic  into  the 
pretended  Keformed  religion,  or  suffered  them  to 
attend  the  temples  and  listen  to  sermons,  were  con- 
demned to  perpetual  banishment  from  France,  with 
confiscation  of  all  their  property.  On  the  20th  of 
May  following  appeared  a  declaration,  ordering  that 
there  should  be  an  allotted  place  in  the  temples  where 
Catholics  could  sit,  who  out  of  zeal  for  the  increase  of 
religion  desired  to  attend  the  sermons. 

In  both  instances  the  cause  of  the  contradictory  law 
was  plaiuj  the  government  wished  to  organise  a  system 
of  espionage.  Here  was  the  commencement  of  another 
series  of  persecutions,  more  desolating,  more  unendur- 
able than  any  that  had  yet  occurred. 

Have  we  not  noted  again  and  again  in  history,  how, 
in  the  darkest  moment  of  peril  to  a  downtrodden  and 


oppressed  people,  the  appearance  of  a  man  of  great 
heart  and  boundless  faith  puts  into  them  new  courage, 
and  they  go  forth  resolute  to  endure  and  perhaps  to 
conquer  ?  God  sends  a  man  before  them,  and  by  his 
aid  they  are,  at  least  for  a  time,  sustained,  and  every 
such  gasp  is  an  assurance  that  they  will  weather  the 
storm,  and  finally  overcome  the  adversary.  So  at  this 
time  appears  on  the  stage  a  man  who,  with  Jurieu, 
carries  on  the  great  traditions  of  the  Calvinist  Churches 
of  France. 

Claude  Brousson  was  born  at  Nimes  in  1647.  The 
son  of  a  tradesman,  he  was  trained  for  the  bar,  and 
became  an  avocat  in  the  mixed  chamber  of  Castres, 
which  he  followed  to  Toulouse.  For  twenty  years  he 
had  shown  himself  the  disinterested  protector  of  the 
poor,  and  the  zealous  defender  of  the  oppressed 
Churches.  And  now  that  they  were  absolutely  over- 
whelmed and  in  danger  of  total  extinction,  this  man 
of  faith  risks  all,  that  he  may  place  himself  at  the 
post  of  danger,  by  becoming  their  advocate  before  the 
king,  court,  and  country.  He  was  a  man  of  faith,  of 
prayer,  and  a  believer  in  the  human  conscience.  He 
felt  that  in  Louis  XIV.,  in  the  governors,  in  the 
magistrates,  in  the  Catholic  people  of  France,  there 
was  a  power  to  which  he  could  appeal  that  would  be 
on  the  side  of  the  oppressed,  and  he  was  determined 
to  risk  all  to  compel  them  to  listen  to  that  still  small 

On  the  3rd  of  May,  1683,  sixteen  representatives  of 
the  Churches  in  Languedoc,  the  Cevennes,  the  Yivarais 
and  Dauphine,  met  in  Claude  Brousson's  house  in 
Toulouse,  to  consider  what  they  should  do.  It  was 
resolved  to  show  Louis  and  all  France  that  they  and 
their  cause  were  not  dead, by  the  simultaneous  gathering 
of  the  interdicted  Churches  in  their  accustomed  places 
of  worship,  and  where  the  temples  had  been  destroyed. 


in  some  place  sufficiently  out  of  the  way  to  give  no  occa- 
sion of  offence,  and  yet  not  so  hidden  but  that  all  might 
know  that  a  religious  assembly  had  taken  place. 

Unhappily  the  great  trials  through  which  the 
Churches  had  passed  had  developed  two  characters  : 
the  zealots,  who  were  ready  for  any  enterprise,  and 
the  timid  and  politic,  who  yielded  point  after  point 
until  at  last  they  yielded  themselves.  This  party  con- 
sidered the  Toulouse  resolution  rash,  and  would  have 
nothing  to  do  with  it. 

On  the  day  appointed,  several  meetings  took  place 
over  the  country,  but  Louvois  prepared  beforehand, 
sent  his  soldiers,  and  the  peasants  fled  into  the  woods, 
where  they  were  killed  by  hundreds.  It  was  a 
butchery,  not  a  fight,  says  Rulhieres.  The  temples  in 
which  the  victims  had  worshipped  were  destroyed  and 
their  houses  razed.  Those  who  had  yielded  on  the  offer 
of  pardon,  on  condition  of  abjuring,  were  hanged. 

In  the  Vivarais  the  people  thus  attacked  themselves 
took  arms.  Louvois  promised  an  amnesty  if  they 
would  lay  them  down,  but  he  excepted  all  the  ministers, 
besides  fifty  other  prisoners,  as  well  as  all  those  he 
sent  to  the  galleys.  One  aged  pastor,  Isaac  Homel, 
an  old  man  of  seventy-two,  he  broke  alive  on  the  wheel 
(Oct.  16th,  1683). 

Meanwhile  some  thirty  pastors  and  lay  deputies 
arrived  from  Lower  Languedoc  at  Nimes,  desiring  to 
hold  a  colloquy ;  but  the  Nimois  consistory,  led  by  the 
pastors  Cheiron  and  Paulhan,  and  the  deacon  Saint 
Comes,  refused  to  agree  to  such  a  course,  whereupon 
the  others  determined  to  ask  permission  of  the  tem- 
porary commandant  of  the  province,  who,  however, 
absolutely  refused  to  allow  them  to  assemble  as  synod 
or  colloquy  under  pain  of  being  criminally  pursued  as 
guilty  of  lese-majesty  and  as  disturbers  of  the  public 


The  deputies^  however^  had  come  to  Nimes  to  hold 
an  assembly,  and  were  not  to  be  moved  from  their 
purpose ;  so  they  held  it  secretly  at  the  house  of  a 
dealer  in  muslins,  named  Vincent,  on  the  night  of  the 
2nd  and  ord  of  October.  Burning  with  indignation 
at  the  wrongs  they  were  suffering,  and  the  impossibility 
of  making  their  voice  heard,  they  determined  on  nothing 
less  tlian  a  revolt.  Their  project  was  to  seize  the  city 
with  the  aid  of  the  Cevennols,  who  they  knew  only 
waited  the  signal  to  rise. 

But,  as  is  so  often  the  case  in  these  projects  born 
of  over-powering  passion,  they  were  betrayed.  The 
authorities  at  once  arranged  for  the  arrest  of  the  con- 
spirators, but  before  they  attempted  to  do  so,  they 
sent  to  the  commandant  for  some  troops.  These 
troops  two  important  personages  in  Nimes  went  to 
meet,  but  encountering  a  horseman  on  their  route, 
they  took  him  for  a  scout  of  the  approaching  dra- 
goons, and  asked  him  how  far  his  companions  were  off. 
The  horseman,  who  was  a  Nimois  Huguenot  belong- 
ing to  the  party  of  resistance,  recognised  his  my- 
sterious interrogators,  and  putting  spurs  to  his  horse 
arrived  in  time  to  warn  his  friends  of  their  peril.  It 
was  evening,  and  raining  in  torrents,  so  that  the  in- 
culpated parties  were  able  to  leave  their  respective 
homes  and  find  hiding-places  without  being  observed. 

When  the  Duke  of  Noailles  arrived  with  his  regi- 
ment, and  found  himself  unable  to  capture  any  of  the 
leaders,  he  caused  the  city  gates  to  be  closed,  and 
forbade  any  inhabitant  under  pain  of  death  and  the 
demolition  of  his  house  to  give  shelter  to  any  of  the 
proscribed.  Those  who  were  open  to  the  threatened 
penalty  were  in  terror,  and  some  thought  to  denounce 
their  guests.  Among  the  latter  were  those  in  whose 
house  Claude  Brousson  had  taken  refuge ;  however, 
they  ended  by  begging  him  to  leave.     He   wandered 


about  for  two  days  and  two  nights^  biding  bimself  in 
obscure  boles  and  corners^  almost  paralysed  by  tbe 
cold,  and  dying  of  bunger,  tracked  by  tbe  watcb,  ar- 
rested, interrogated,  and  miraculously  allowed  to  go. 
At  last  be  noticed  tbe  orifice  of  tbe  main  sewer,  wbicb 
was  in  tbe  principal  street  of  tbe  town,  just  opposite 
tbe  Jesuits'  College.  He  lost  no  time  in  descending, 
and  creeping  as  well  as  be  could  tbrougb  tbe  black 
and  foetid  mud,  be  reacbed,  after  many  difficulties, 
tbe  ditcb  outside  tbe  city  walls,  from  wbence  be  got 
into  tbe  open  country,  and  in  tbe  end  arrived  safely  in 


The  Second  Deagonnades. 

We  bave  seen  bow  tbe  flame  of  piety,  burning  low,  it 
may  be,  in  tbe  time  of  tbeir  prosperity,  bad  daring 
tbese  days  of  affliction  risen  bigber  and  bigber.  Tbe 
destruction  of  tbe  temples,  tbe  interdiction  of  public 
worsbip,  only  served  to  increase  tbe  ardour  witb  wbicb 
tbey  ^  longed  for  tbe  courts  of  tbe  Lord,'  so  tbat  in 
some  provinces  people  walked  fifty  or  sixty  leagues  to 
attend  public  worsbip.  Tbe  temples,  now  so  scarce, 
became  centres  of  mass-meetings,  tbe  first  comers 
occupyiug  tbe  building,  wbile  vast  numbers  remained 
witbout  holding  a  common  worsbip ;  for  tbe  pastors, 
not  being  able  to  take  a  part,  it  was  confined  to  sing- 
ing psalms  and  reading  prayers.  At  nigbt,  bowever, 
tbeir  ministers  stole  among  tbem,  exborting  tbem  witb 
tears  to  remain  firm  in  tbe  faitb.  Sometimes  it 
happened  tbat  tbe  worshippers  found  themselves  con- 
fronted witb  a  new  edict  from  the  authorities,  as  at 
Marennes,  in  Saintonge,  where,  in  extremely  rough 
weather,  some  ten  thousand  people  bad  arrived  one 



Sunday,  in  168  A,  to  celebrate  Divine  worship  in  their 
temple.  The  building,  capable  of  holding  14,000 
people,  was  found  closed,  an  order  having  arrived  the 
previous  night  interdicting  all  worship,  some  relapsed, 
or  some  children  of  the  newly  converted  having 
entered  during  a  previous  service.  Weeping  and 
sighing  the  people  threw  themselves  into  each  other's 
arms,  or  with  clasped  hands  lifted  their  eyes  to  heaven. 
They  dared  not  stop  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  in  re- 
turning some,  probably  infants,  for  they  had  among 
tbem  twenty-four,  died. 

These  children  had  been  brought  to  receive  the 
initiatory  rite  of  communion  with  the  Church,  for  the 
persecutors,  who  spared  no  pains  to  suppress  the 
preaching  of  the  Word  and  pubhc  worship,  who  feared 
not  to  tread  down  the  most  sacred  rights  of  humanity, 
shrank  from  interfering  with  the  Huguenot  cere- 
monials of  baptism  and  marriage,  the  pastors  perform- 
iug  them  under  the  eyes  of  the  authorities. 

In  1 685,  Bossuet  was  fifty- eight  years  of  age ;  Bour- 
daloue,  fifty-three;  Fenelon,  thirty-four;  in  the  very 
prime,  therefore,  of  life,  and  from  their  positions  as 
well  able  as  any  men  to  know  what  was  going  on  in 
France.  Bourdaloue,  a  Jesuit  and  a  court  preacher, 
representing  Eeligion  at  Versailles,  as  Turenne  had 
represented  War,  and  Racine  the  Drama,  Bourdaloue 
could  not  fail  to  have  known  all  that  was  known  at 
Versailles.  Fenelon  was  director  of  an  institution  in 
Paris  specially  founded  for  the  reception  of  Huguenot 
girls  who  had  been  made  converts  to  the  Roman 
Catholic  religion.  The  detail  might  very  well  have 
been  unknown  to  them,  but  they  could  not  fail  to  have 
been  aware  of  the  general  character  of  the  persecution 
and  the  frightful  turn  it  took  in  this  same  year,  1685. 
Yet  it  was  in  May  of  that  year,  at  an  assembly  of 
the  clergy,  that  Louis  was  not  only  complimented  on 


tlie  success  of  his  efforts  to  extirpate  heresy^  but  tlie 
Bishop  of  Valence  poetically  remarked  that  the  king 
had  led  wanderers^  who  perhaps  might  never  other- 
wise have  returned  to  the  bosom  of  the  Churchy  hij  a 
road  strewn  until  flowers.  As  this  bishop,  coming  from 
the  Dauphine,  could  not  have  been  ignorant  of  the 
fiicts,  and  as  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  he  was 
mocking  his  hearers,  we  must  charitably  conclude  that 
he  really  thought  so ;  but  in  that  case  what  a  light  on. 
the  sufferings  of  the  Dauphino  for  generations,  on  the 
nature  of  the  pontifical  absolutism  under  which  they 
groaned,  on  the  notions  of  Christianity  entertained  by 
the  prelates  of  the  Galilean  Church. 

About  the  very  time  that  Monseigneur  de  Valence 
was  uttering  this  pretty  nonsense,  the  Dragonnades 
recommenced  with  greater  cruelty  than  ever. 

Certain  troops  having  been  cantoned  in  Beam  to 
watch  the  Spanish  army,  and  a  truce  having  been 
proclaimed,  Louvois  thought  he  would  turn  them  to 
account  as  missioners.  Accordingly  in  July,  1685,  the 
very  mouth  that  English  Nonconformity  received  such 
a  blow  at  the  battle  of  Sedgemoor,  the  commander  of 
the  troops,  Boufflers,  and  Foucault,  the  intendant  of 
the  province,  received  orders  to  take  in  hand  the  con- 
version of  the  Huguenots. 

The  subjects  of  their  efforts  were  immediately  in- 
formed that  they  must  return  to  the  Catholic  unity, 
and  some  hundreds  were  at  once  forced  into  a  church, 
where  the  Bishop  of  Lescar  officiated,  beaten  until 
they  fell  on  their  knees,  when  they  were  absolved  of 
their  heresy,  and  told  they  would  be  punished  if  they 
relapsed.  The  Huguenots  everywhere  fled  into  the 
forests,  deserts,  caverns  of  the  Pyrenees,  but  being 
pursued,  were  driven  back  to  their  houses,  where  they 
were  subjected  to  cruelties  surpassing  those  practised 
in  Poitou. 


The  soldiers  rushed  about  their  houses  with  drawn 
swords,  crying,  '  Tug,  iue,  on  Gatlioliqnes.'  They  sacked 
the  place,  broke  up  the  furniture,  sold  the  things  to 
the  peasants;  they  repeated  their  usual  violence 
against  the  persons  of  their  victims.  But  in  addition, 
at  the  express  command  of  the  intendant,  Foucault, 
they  commenced  a  maddening  torture.  They  were  to 
keep  awake  those  whom  they  could  not  convert  by 
other  torments.  By  beating  drums,  by  blasphemous 
cries,  by  pitching  the  furniture  about,  they  kept 
these  unhappy  beings  in  continual  agitation;  and  when 
these  means  failed,  they  tied  them  up  by  their  heels 
until  they  were  almost  dead,  or  they  brought  burning 
coals  near  their  heads,  or  applied  them  to  various  parts 
of  their  body.  They  pinched  them,  pricked  them, 
dragged  them  about,  blew  tobacco  smoke  up  their 
noses ;  there  was  no  cruelty,  however  mean,  or  small, 
or  barbarous,  which  came  into  their  heads,  that  tbey 
did  not  practise.  As  to  the  women,  the  insults  they 
had  to  endure  canuot  be  described.  They  had  no 
pity  on  their  victims  until  they  saw  them  fainting 
away,  then  they  recovered  them,  but  only  to  begin 
afresh  their  tortures. 

This  method  of  conversion  was  so  effectual  that  out 
of  25,000  members  of  the  Reformed  Church  in  Beam 
only  1,000  remained  firm.  The  triumph  was  cele- 
brated by  a  grand  mass,  and  by  processions  in  which 
the  converts  were  paraded. 

From  Beam  the  conquering  troops  marched  to 
Montauban,  where  the  same  process  was  repeated  with 
the  same  results  ;  out  of  the  twelve  or  fifteen  thousand 
persons  of  which  this  important  Church  was  composed, 
only  twenty  or  thirty  families  saved  themselves  by 
flight  into  the  woods  or  adjacent  country.  The  ruin 
of  the  Church  of  Montauban  was  followed  by  all  the 
others   in   its   neighbourhood.     Realmont^  Bruniquel, 



Negrepelisse_,  etc.,  severally  passed  througli  a  similar 

The  fate  of  the  Churches  of  Lower  Guienne  and 
Perigord  was  equally  sad,  and  to  show  that  the  final 
apostasy  was  one  which  we  should  not,  even  if  we  had 
the  heart,  dare  to  blame,  we  will  relate  the  case  of 
Bergerac  on  the  Dordogne. 

This  town,  to-day  only  numbering  some  12,000 
inhabitants,  contained  at  this  time,  it  is  said,  a  popula- 
tion of  50,000,  and  was  from  its  commercial  activity 
a  serious  rival  to  Bordeaux.  For  three  years  it  had 
been  harassed  by  the  soldiers  who,  in  the  expressive 
language  of  an  eye-witness  of  the  Mission  hottoe,  ^  had 
eaten  it  up  to  the  bones.^  Two  companies  of  cavalry 
were  first  sent,  merely  to  observe  the  inhabitants, 
thirty-two  other  companies  soon  followed.  Then  came 
the  commander  Boufflers  and  the  intendant  Foucault, 
accompanied  by  the  bishops  of  Agen  and  Perigueux. 
Two  hundred  of  the  citizens  were  summoned  to  tlie 
Hotel  de  Ville,  and  told  that  the  king  willed  that  they 
should  go  to  mass,  and  that  if  they  did  not  do  it 
willingly  they  would  be  forced  to  constrain  them. 
The  citizens  unanimously  declared  that  their  lives  and 
property  were  in  the  hands  of  his  majesty,  but  God 
alone  was  the  Master  of  their  conscience,  and  that  they 
resolved  to  suff'er  all  rather  than  disobey  its  monitions  ; 
upon  which  they  were  told  to  prepare  to  receive  a 
punishment  worthy  such  obstinacy.  Thirty-two  more 
companies  of  cavalry  and  infantry  were  then  sent  for, 
which,  with  the  thirty -four  already  in  the  town,  made 
sixty-six,  which  were  quartered  on  the  Protestants, 
with  the  injunction  to  exercise  upon  their  hosts  every 
sort  of  violence  until  they  had  extorted  from  them  a 
promise  to  do  all  that  was  ordered.  This  injunction 
having  been  faithfully  carried  out,  the  miserable  victims 
were  again  taken  to  tlie  Hotel  de  Ville,  where  being 


again  pressed  to  change  their  religion  they  declared 
with  tears  in  their  eyes  that  they  could  not.  Upon 
which  thirty-four  more  companies  were  sent  for,  so 
that  now  the  Protestants  of  Bergerac  were  delivered 
over  to  one  hundred  companies  of  soldiers,,  who  acted 
as  wolves  among  a  flock  of  sheep.  A  whole  com- 
pany would  be  lodged  in  one  house,  costing  a  man 
who  was  not  worth  10,000  livres,  150  livres  a  day, 
merely  for  their  maintenance.  When  they  had  thus 
ruined  their  hosts  thej  sold  off  their  furniture  at  a 
nominal  price.  But  this  was  not  all :  they  tied  up  by 
the  neck  the  various  members  of  the  family,  father, 
mother,  children,  keeping  watch  that  no  one  should 
come  to  assist  them,  and  kept  them  in  this  state  for 
two,  three,  four,  five,  and  six  days  without  food  or  any- 
thing to  drink,  and  without  permitting  them  to  go  to 
sleep.  ^Ah  !  my  father,  ah  !  my  mother,  I  can  bear  it 
no  longer !  '  cries  from  one  side  a  child  in  a  dying  voice. 
'Alas  !  my  heart  begins  to  fail  me!'  cries  the  wife;  and 
the  brutal  soldiery,  far  from  being  touched,  torment 
them  only  the  more,  terrifying  them  with  menaces 
uttered  with  horrid  oaths.  'You  dog,  B  .  .  . 
won't  you  be  converted  ?  won't  you  listen  to  us?  You 
shall  be  converted.  You  dog,  B  .  .  .  this  is  what 
we've  come  for.'  At  which  the  priests  who  stood  by 
only  laughed.  Of  course,  for  it  could  have  but  one  end, 
nature  could  hold  out  for  a  certain  time,  but  at  last  all 
gave  in,  crushed  by  tortures  fiends  only  could  conceive. 
There  was  no  safety  but  in  flight,  and  when  the  troops 
arrived  at  Bordeaux,  the  greater  part  of  the  mer- 
chants fled,  abandoning  their  houses  and  their  property. 
The  terror  inspired  was  so  great  that  there  was  no 
more  need  of  violence.  It  was  enough  to  speak  of  the 
dragoons  to  bring  every  one  to  his  knees.  A  reign  of 
terror  had  succeeded ;  it  was  a  lesson  the  French  people 
did  not  forget. 


The  klng^s  council  was  itself  astonislied  at  the 
success  of  this  last  effort.  Louvois  wrote  to  his 
father^  the  chancellor,  Le  Tellier :  ^16,000  conversions 
have  been  made  in  the  whole  of  Bordeaux,  and  20,000 
in  that  of  Montauban.  The  rapidity  with  which  the 
affair  proceeds  is  such  that  before  the  end  of  the 
month  there  will  not  remain  10,000  religionaries  in 
all  Bordeaux,  where  there  were  100,000  the  15th  of 
last  month.' 

This  letter  was  written  early  in  September,  1685; 
on  the  22nd  of  the  same  month  the  Marquis  de 
Montanegre  arrived  at  Ninies  with  two  companies  of 
dragoons  to  carry  out  an  edict  of  the  previous  July, 
interdicting  for  ever  the  exercise  of  the  pretended 
Reformed  religion  in  the  episcopal  cities,  an  edict  de- 
manded by  the  assembly  of  the  clergy  held  at  Ver- 
sailles, in  which  the  flowery  Bishop  of  Valence  had 
complimented  Louis  on  the  extreme  grace  with  which 
he  had  managed  his  missions. 

The  Marquis  de  Montanegre  was  kind  enough  to 
allow  the  Nimois  Reformed  Church  to  assemble  in 
their  temple  for  the  last  time.  Cheiron,  the  leading- 
pastor  among  the  moderates,  ascended  the  pulpit  and 
preached  a  pathetic  discourse,  in  which  he  appealed  to 
the  congregation  to  persevere  at  every  cost  and  every 
sacrifice,  even  to  death,  in  order  to  obtain  the  crown 
of  the  martyrs  glorified  on  high.  'We  swear  it!'  cried 
a  multitude  of  voices  amidst  a  burst  of  sighs  and  tears, 
sobs  and  lamentations. 

The  next  morning  the  authorities,  followed  by  a 
crowd  of  people,  arrived  to  close  the  temple  officially. 
Cheiron  and  another  pastor,  Paulhan,  were  on  the 
door- steps,  and  as  they  approached,  Paulhan  exclaimed 
in  despair,  '  No  more  temple,  no  more  life  V  'It  is 
not  the  time  to  groan  or  lament/  said  the  royal  official, 
'  but  to  conform  docilely  and  without  resistance  to  the 


will  of  til e  monarch/  Seals  were  then  placed  on  the 
door,  and  a  temple  in  which  the  hymn  of  praise  and  the 
preaching  of  the  Word  had  gone  on  for  a  hundred  and 
nineteen  years  was  finally  closed.  In  a  few  days,  Elie 
Cheiron  and  Pierre  Paulhan  themselves  illustrated  the 
truth  of  Paulhan^s  exclamation,  for  they  both  abjured 
the  Reformed  faith  and  received  the  kiss  of  peace  from 
the  Bishop  of  Nimes. 

The  total  number  of  conversions  brought  about  by 
the  Mission  hottee  was  reported  as  250,000.  The 
work  of  demolishing  the  Huguenot  temples  went  on 
with  equal  speed.  The  following  is  a  list  of  the 
temples  condemned  during  the  first  fortnight  in  Sep- 
tember, 1685,  twenty-nine  in  all : 

1st.     Vans,  Fraissinet,  and  Saint- Julien  d^Arpaon. 

3rd.  Sauve,  Aulas,  Saint  Martin,  Lansuscle,  and 
Barre  to  disappear. 

4th.     Valleraugue  and  Yebron. 

5tli.  Bourdeaux  to  be  razed  to  the  foundation. 
Saint  Christol  near  Alais,  Tournac  near 
Anduze,  and  Branoux. 

6th.     Salavas  and  Pompidou. 

7th.  Anduze,  Cardet,  Ribaute,  Lagorce,  and  Saint 
Martin  de  Boubeaux  to  be  demolished. 

9th.  Puylaurens,  the  material  to  be  used  in  re- 
building the  Catholic  church  of  that 
town ;  Pons,  to  become  a  house  for  the 
education  of  female  children  of  the  new 

13th.  Mondardie,  Meyrueis,  Vallerauve,  Great 
Gallargues,  Aulas,  and  Tournac,  all 
pulled  down  this  day. 

The  demolition  of  the  synagogues  of  Satan  extended 
to  private  houses.  It  was  enough  that  a  preaching 
had  taken  place  in  a  house,  even  by  a  layman,  for  the 


house  to  be  razed  to  the  ground.  On  the  14th  of 
September,  Louvois  warns  the  intendant  Baville  that 
the  minister  Havart  has  preached  in  four  houses  in  a 
place  called  La  Salle  in  the  Cevennes,  and  he  is  to 
order  the  Duke  of  Noailles  to  raze  these  houses  even 
with  the  ground^  his  majesty  being  well  persuaded 
that  such  an  example  will  remove  any  desire  on  the 
part  of  the  religionaries  to  lend  their  houses  for 
preaching,  to  the  prejudice  of  the  laws. 

The  same  exterminatory  zeal  committed  to  the 
flames  religious  books  published  by  the  Huguenots. 
Thus,  at  Bergerac,  the  newly  converted  were  required 
to  deliver  them  up,  when  they  were  all  burnt  in  the 
street  (Sept.  27th). 

By  October  the  people  were  flying  in  all  directions, 
seeking  sea-ports  like  Nantes,  or  if  towards  the  east, 
striving  to  get  into  Switzerland.  The  faithful  among 
the  nobility  and  gentry — and  we  may  be  sure  that  to 
have  remained  faithful  in  such  an  hour  they  must  have 
been  men  and  women  of  the  purest  metal — these  great 
souls  shone  brightly.  Their  cJidteauXj  still  surrounded 
in  the  eyes  of  courtiers  with  a  certain  sacredness,  were 
points  of  refuge  for  fugitives,  and  to  this  very  period 
had  maintained  the  right  of  public  worship.  They 
now  received  warnings,  interdictions ;  nevertheless 
several  of  these  noble  ladies  had  the  courage  to  go 
from  house  to  house  sustaining  the  weak  and  animat- 
ino-  their  couragfe.  On  the  8bh  of  October,  Louvois 
issues  an  order  to  confine  all  such  ladies  to  their 
own  houses,  and  put  a  guard  at  their  expense. 

A  letter  of  the  eminent  Jean  Claude  (1619),  the  last 
of  the  pastors  of  Charenton,  written  to  his  son  on 
the  12th  of  October,  depicts  the  sorrowful  state  of 
the  ruined  Churches.  ^All  Lower  Languedoc  has 
yielded;  Anjou  nearly  the  same.  What  will  be  the 
success  of  the  storm  God  only  knows ;  but  already  I 


Lave  no  hopes  of  three  quarters  and  a  half.  Many  are 
called,  but  few  are  chosen.  As  to  myself,  I  shall 
stand  firm,  please  God,  until  the  end,  and  do  not 
dream  of  going  away  until  the  last  extremity.  God 
will  give  me  the  grace  to  glorify  Him  until  the  end. 
I  look  to  His  pity  for  this."* 

Five  days  after  this  letter  was  written,  on  the  1  7th 
of  October,  Louis  XIV.  signed  the  Edict  of  Revocation. 
The  next  day  it  was  taken  to  the  chancellor,  Le  Tellier, 
who  sealed  it  with  the  great  seal  of  France.  When  he 
had  done  this,  the  old  man  expressed  his  joy  in  the 
words  of  Simeon  :  ^  Now  let  Thy  servant  depart  in 
peace,  for  mine  eyes  ha,ve  seen  Thy  salvation.^  So  at 
least  it  is  said,  and  we  have  Bossuet's  authority  for 
saying  that  such  were  indeed  his  sentiments  on  the 
occasion.     Six  days  after  he  died. 


Revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes. 

The  revocatory  edict  suppressed  the  legal  exercise  of 
the  Reformed  worship  in  France.  All  pastors  were 
•to  quit  the  kingdom  in  a  fortnight,  under  penalty  of 
being  sent  to  the  galleys.  If  they  abjured,  they  were 
to  have  a  salary  one- third  larger  than  they  ah-eady 
enjoyed,  with  a  half  revertible  to  their  widows ; 
the  expense  of  academic  studies  was  to  be  defrayed 
if  they  wished  to  enter  at  the  bar.  Parents  were 
forbidden  to  instruct  their  children  in  the  pretended 
Reformed  religion,  but  were  eujoined  to  have  them 
baptized  and  send  them  to  Catholic  churches,  under 
a  penalty  of  500  francs.  All  refugees  were  to  return 
to  France  within  four  months,  under  penalty  of  the 
confiscation  of  their  property.  No  religionists  were 
to    attempt    to    emigrate,   under    penalty    of    being 


sent  to  the  galleys  if  meD_,  and  seclusion  for  life  if 

Such  were  the  terms  of  this  infamous  edict.  If 
ever  the  throne  of  wickedness  framed  mischief  by 
statute  it  was  on  this  occasion.^ 

Sydney  Smith  is  reported  to  have  advised  men  to 
take  short  views  of  life.  In  history  the  reverse  is  the 
only  wise  plan.  Examine^  reader^  the  history  of 
another  century,  and  then  you  will  be  able  to  judge 
if  Le  Tellier  or  his  master  had  any  reason  to  con- 
gratulate themselves  on  the  fatal  work  of  this  18th  of 
October,  1685. 

1  Ps.  xciv.  20. 


{Sec  page  125.) 

Psaume   LXVIII, 

Melodie  dc  xxxvi.,  do  Matthieu  Gkeiter  antcricure  a  1530. 








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